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THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 


THE 
SEXUAL  QUESTION 


A    SCIENTIFIC,    PSYCHOLOGICAL,    HYGIENIC    AND 

SOCIOLOGICAL    STUDY    FOR   THE 

CULTURED    CLASSES 


BY 
AUGUST  JFOREL,  M.D.,  PH.D.,  LL.D. 

Formerly  Professor  of  Psychiatry  at  and  Director  of  the 
Insane  Asylum  in  Zurich  (Switzerland) 


ENGLISH  ADAPTATION 


C.  F.  MARSHALL,  M.D.,  F.R.C.S. 

Late  Assistant  Surgeon  to  the  Hospital  for 
Diseases  of  the  Skin,  London 


ILLUSTRATED 


NEW  YORK 
REBMAN  COMPANY 

1123  BROADWAY 

1st  to  2nd  thousand 


I^Ol 


Copyright,  1908,  by 

REBMAN    COMPANY 

New  York 


Entered  at  Stationers'  Hall,  London,  Eng.,  1908 


All  rights  reserved 


Printed  in  America 


uoTmJL 
fUls 


TRANSLATOR'S  PREFACE 

Professor  Forel  is  well  known  to  English  readers  through 
the  medium  of  English  translations  of  his  other  works,  on  Psy- 
chiatry and  kindred  subjects.  The  present  work  has  aheady 
been  translated  into  several  European  languages.  Whether  we 
agree  with  all  Professor  Forel's  conclusions  or  not,  we  must 
admit  that  he  has  dealt  with  a  difficult  and  delicate  subject  in 

a  masterly  and  scientific  manner. 

C.  F.  Marshall. 

27  New  Cavendish  Street,  London,  W. 


PREFACE  TO  THE  FIRST  EDITION 

This  book  is  the  fruit  of  long  experience  and  reflection.  It  has 
two  fundamental  ideas — the  study  of  nature,  and  the  study  of 
the  psychology  of  man  in  health  and  in  disease. 

To  harmonize  the  aspirations  of  human  nature  and  the  data 
of  the  sociology  of  the  different  human  races  and  the  different 
epochs  of  history,  with  the  results  of  natural  science  and  the 
laws  of  mental  and  sexual  evolution  which  these  have  revealed 
to  us,  is  a  task  which  has  become  more  and  more  necessary  at 
the  present  day.  It  is  our  duty  to  our  descendants  to  con- 
tribute as  far  as  is  in  our  power  to  its  accomplishment.  In 
recognition  of  the  immense  progress  of  education  which  we  owe 
to  the  sweat,  the  blood,  and  often  to  the  martyrdom  of  our 
predecessors,  it  behoves  us  to  prepare  for  our  children  a  life 
more  happy  than  ours. 

I  am  well  aware  of  the  disproportion  which  exists  between 
the  magnitude  of  my  task  and  the  imperfections  of  my  work. 
I  have  not  been  able  to  study  as  much  as  should  be  done  the 
innumerable  works  which  treat  of  the  same  subject.  Others, 
better  versed  than  myself  in  the  literature  of  the  subject,  will 
be  able  later  on  to  fill  this  regrettable  lacuna.  I  have  endeav- 
ored, above  all  things,  to  study  the  question  from  all  points  of 
view,  in  order  to  avoid  the  errors  which  result  from  any  study 
which  is  made  from  one  point  of  view  only.  This  is  a  thing 
which  has  generally  been  neglected. 

I  must  express  my  thanks  to  my  friend.  Professor  Mahaim, 
and  especially  to  my  publisher  and  cousin,  S.  Steinheil,  for  the 
help  and  excellent  advice  which  they  have  given  me  in  the 
revision  of  my  work;  also  to  Professor  Boveri,  who  has  been 
kind  enough  to  revise  the  figiues,  1  to  17. 

De.  a.  Forel. 

Chigny  pres  Merges  (Suisse). 


X  PREFACE  TO  THE  SECOND  EDITION 

"I  must  thank  you  for  the  deep  and  unalterable  impression 
which  your  book  has  produced  on  me.  I  am  a  young  girl  of  21 
years,  and  you  know  how  difficult  it  is  for  us  to  see  clearly  into 
those  natural  things  which  so  closely  concern  us.  I  cannot, 
therefore,  thank  you  too  much  for  the  calm  enlightenment  which 
has  been  produced  in  me,  and  for  the  just  and  humane  words 
which  you  devote  to  the  education  of  our  sex.  I  hope  one  day 
to  have  the  good  fortune  to  apply  to  my  children  the  ideas  on 
education  with  which  you  have  inspired  me. 

"You  ask  me  for  the  impression  which  your  book  has  made  on 
me.  It  is  true  that  I  am  still  very  young,  but  I  have  read  much. 
My  mother  has  brought  me  up  very  freely,  so  that  I  can  count 
myself  among  the  young  girls  who  are  free  from  prejudice.  In 
spite  of  this,  a  sort  of  internal  anxiety  or  false  shame  has  hin- 
dered me  from  speaking  of  all  the  things  of  which  you  treat.  All 
that  I  knew  I  had  read  in  books  or  derived  by  instinct.  Although 
I  knew  very  well  that  my  mother  would  always  answer  my  ques- 
tions I  never  asked  any. 

"I  declare  that  latterly  my  mind  had  been  in  a  state  of  veri- 
table chaos.  I  was  obsessed  and  tormented  by  a  fear  of  every- 
thing of  which  I  was  ignorant  and  some  day  ought  to  learn. 
This  is  why  I  was  anxious  to  read  your  book  which  a  friend  showed 
me.     I  will  now  express  myself  more  clearly. 

"The  first  chapters  were  difficult  for  me,  not  because  I  could 
not  understand  them,  but  owing  to  the  strange  and  novel  expe- 
rience which  the  truth  made  in  me  when  plainly  and  scientifically 
expounded.  Wishing  to  read  everything  I  applied  myself  to  the 
book  laboriously.  My  first  impression  was  that  of  disgust  for  all 
human  beings  and  mistrust  of  everything.  But  I  was  soon  glad 
to  find  that  I  was  a  very  normal  young  girl,  so  that  this  impres- 
sion soon  passed  away.  I  was  no  longer  excited  over  conversa- 
tions which  I  heard,  but  took  a  real  interest  in  them,  and  I  was 
happy  to  have  become  acquainted  with  some  one  who  under- 
stood us  young  girls. 

"I  am,  therefore,  a  young  girl  whose  sensations  are  neither 
cold  nor  perverse,  and  I  am  always  rejoiced,  in  reading  your 
book,  to  see  with  what  truth  you  describe  our  sexual  impressions. 
Those  who  maintain  that  we  feel  in  this  way  the  same  as  men 
make  me  smile.  In  your  book  ("Hygiene  of  ^larriage,"  p.  479) 
you  say  that  the  idea  of  marriage  awakens  in  a  normal  young 
girl  a  kind  of  anguish  and  disgust,  and  that  this  feeling  disap- 
pears as  soon  as  she  has  found  some  one  whom  she  loves.     This 


PREFACE   TO   THE   SECOND    EDITION  XI 

is  extremely  true  and  well  observed.  I  am  in  complete  agree- 
ment with  a  friend  with  whom  I  have  often  discussed  your  book; 
we  young  girls  are  very  little  attracted  by  the  purely  sexual  side 
of  marriage,  and  we  should  prefer  to  see  children  come  into  the 
world  by  some  other  way  than  that  ordained  by  Nature.  This 
will,  perhaps,  make  you  laugh.  However,  I  think  you  will  un- 
derstand my  feelings. 

"When  I  had  finished  reading  your  book  I  became  absolutely 
tranquil,  and  my  ideas  were  enlightened.  It  goes  without  saying 
that  it  is  no  longer  possible  for  me  to  be  ingenuous,  but  I  should 
like  to  know  what  one  gains  by  such  naivety.  It  is  very  easy  to 
be  innocent  when  one  knows  nothing,  and  this  is  of  no  account, 
I  never  thought  for  a  moment  to  find  your  book  immoral,  and 
that  is  why  I  do  not  think  you  have  done  me  any  harm.  Excuse 
me  for  having  written  at  such  length,  but  I  could  not  abbreviate 
when  dealing  with  such  a  serious  question." 

The  author  of  this  letter  has,  at  my  request,  authorized  me 
to  publish  it  anonymously.  I  think  that  the  candor,  the  loy- 
alty and  the  maturity  of  judgment  of  the  sentiments  expressed 
by  this  young  girl  are  of  much  more  value  and  are  much  more 
healthy  than  all  the  prudishness  and  false  shame  of  our  con- 
ventional morality. 

Dr.  a.  Forel. 

Chigny  pr6s  Merges  (Suisse) . 


CONTENTS 

CHAPTER    I 

PAGE 

The  reproduction  of  living  beings — History  of  the  germ — 
Cell-division  —  Parthenogenesis  —  Conjugation  — 
Mneme  —  Embryonic  development  —  Difference  of 
sexes  —  Castration  —  Hermaphrodism  —  Heredity  — 
Blastophthoria  ........       6 

CHAPTER    II 

The  evolution  or  descent  of  living  beings  .  .  .39 

CHAPTER    III 

Natural  conditions  of  mechanism  of  human  coitus — Preg- 
nancy— Correlative  sexual  characters  .  .  .  .49 

CHAPTER    IV 

The  sexual  appetite  in  man  and  woman — Flirtation     .  .     72 

CHAPTER    V 

Love  and  other  irradiations  of  the  sexual  appetite  in  the 
human  mind — Psychic  irradiations  of  love  in  man: 
Procreative  instinct,  jealousy,  sexual  braggardism,  por- 
nographic spirit,  sexual  hypocrisy,  prudery  and  modesty, 
old  bachelors — Psychic  irradiations  of  love  in  woman: 
Old  maids,  passiveness  and  desire,  abandon  and  exalta- 
tion, desire  for  domination,  petticoat  government,  desire 
of  maternity  and  maternal  love,  routine  and  infatuation, 
jealousy,  dissimulation,  coquetry,  prudery  and  modesty 
— Fetichism  and  anti-fetichism — Psychological  relations 
of  love  to  religion      .......    104 


xiv  CONTENTS 

CHAPTER   VI 

Ethnology  and  history  of  the  sexual  life  of  man  and  of  mar- 
riage— Origin  of  marriage — Antiquity  of  matrimonial 
institutions — Criticism  of  the  doctrine  of  promiscuity — 
Marriage  and  celibacy — Sexual  advances  and  demands 
of  marriage — Methods  of  attraction — Liberty  of  choice 
— Sexual  selection — Law  of  resemblance — Hybrids — 
Prohibition  of  consanguineous  marriages — Role  of  senti- 
ment and  calculation  in  sexual  selection — Marriage  by 
purchase — Decadence  of  marriage  by  purchase — 
Dowry — Nuptial  ceremonies — Forms  of  marriage — Dura- 
tion of  marriage  —  History  of  extra-nuptial  sexual 
intercourse         ........ 

CHAPTER    VII 
Sexual  evolution — Phylogeny  and  ontogeny  of  sexual  life 

CHAPTER    VIII 

Sexual  pathology — Pathology  of  the  sexual  organs — Venereal 
disease — Sexual  psychology — Reflex  anomalies — Psychic 
impotence — Sexual  paradoxy — Sexual  anaesthesia — Sex- 
ual hypersesthesia  —  Masturbation  and  onanism — Per- 
versions of  the  sexual  appetite:  Sadism,  masochism, 
fetichism,  exhibitionism,  homosexual  lo;^,  sexual  inver- 
sion, pederosis,  sodomy — Sexual  anomalies  in  the  insane 
and  psychopathic — Effects  of  alcohol  on  the  sexual 
appetite — Sexual  anomalies  by  suggestion  and  auto- 
suggestion— Sexual  perversions  due  to  habit 


CHAPTER    IX 

The  role  of  suggestion  in  sexual  life — Amorous  intoxication     .   277 

CHAPTER    X 

The  relations  of  the  sexual  question  to  money  and  property — 

Prostitution,  proxenetism  and  venal  concubinage  .   293 


CONTENTS  XV 

CHAPTER    XI 

PAGE 

The  influence  of  environment  on  sexual  life — Influence  of 
climate — Town  and  country  life — Vagabondage — Ameri- 
canism— Saloons  and  alcohol — Riches  and  poverty — 
Rank  and  social  position — Individual  life — Boarding 
schools      .........   326 

CHAPTER    XII 
Religion  and  sexual  life     .......   340 

CHAPTER    XIII 

Rights  in  sexual  life — Civil  law — Penal  law — A  medico-legal 
case  .........   358 

CHAPTER    XIV 

Medicine  and  sexual  life — Prostitution — Sexual  hygiene — 
Extra-nuptial  intercourse — Medical  advice — Means  of 
regulating  or  preventing  conception — Hygiene  of  mar- 
riage— Hygiene  of  pregnancy — Medical  advice  as  to 
marriage — Medical  secrecy — Artificial  abortion — Treat- 
ment of  sexual  disorders     ......   418 

CHAPTER    XV 
Sexual  morality        ........   445 

CHAPTER   XVI 
The  sexual  question  in  politics  and  in  political  economy       .   461 

CHAPTER    XVII 
The  sexual  question  in  pedagogy       .....   470 

CHAPTER    XVIII 
The  sexual  question  in  art         ......   489 

CHAPTER    XIX 

Conclusions — Utopian   ideas   on  the   ideal   marriage   of   the 

future — Bibliographical  remarks  ....    499 


THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 


THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

INTRODUCTION 

My  object  is  to  study  the  sexual  question  under  all  its  aspects: 
scientific,  ethnological,  pathological  and  social,  and  to  seek  the 
best  solution  of  the  numerous  problems  connected  with  it. 
Unfortunately,  in  publications  dealing  with  this  subject,  eroti- 
cism usually  plays  a  considerable  part,  and  it  is  difficult  for  an 
author  to  abstract  himself  from  this,  for  it  is  reflected  uncon- 
sciously in  his  thoughts.  As  all  sentiment,  more  or  less,  warps 
judgment,  it  is  the  duty  of  scientific  criticism  to  eliminate  eroti- 
cism in  order  to  be  exact  and  impartial.  We  shall,  therefore, 
do  all  that  is  possible  to  free  ourselves  from  it  in  the  course  of 
the  present  study. 

The  sexual  question  is  of  fundamental  importance  for  hu- 
manity, whose  happiness  and  well-being  depend  largely  on  the 
best  solution  of  this  important  problem.  In  dealing  with  such 
a  delicate  subject  I  shall  endeavor  to  avoid  narrow-mindedness 
and  prejudice;  I  shall  avoid  tiresome  quotations,  and  shall  only 
employ  technical  terms  when  necessary,  as  they  rather  interfere 
with  the  comprehension  of  the  subject.  I  shall  take  care  to 
explain  all  those  which  appear  to  me  indispensable. 

My  opinions  on  the  sexual  question  are  based,  on  the  one 
hand,  on  my  scientific  study  of  the  human  brain,  and  on  the 
other  hand  on  the  long  personal  experience  of  an  alienist  who 
has  devoted  himself  almost  as  much  to  normal  mentality  and 
questions  of  social  hygiene  as  to  pathological  mentality.  I 
have,  however,  been  obliged  to  rely  on  the  fundamental  work  of 
Westermark  with  regard  to  ethnology,  this  subject  being  strange 
to  me.  Concerning  sexual  psycho-pathology  I  have  followed 
the  classification  of  Krafft-Ehing . 

The  sexual  question  is  extraordinarily  complex,  and  we  can- 
not expect  to  find  a  simple  solution  for  it  as  we  can  for  the 
questions  of  alcoholism,  slavery,  torture,  etc.    The  latter  are 

3 


4  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

solved  in  one  word — suppression.  Suppression  of  slavery  and 
torture;  suppression  of  the  usage  of  alcoholic  drinks.  We  are 
concerned  here  with  ulcers  artificially  produced  and  preserved 
in  human  society;  ulcers  which  must  be  simply  extirpated. 
Their  suppression  is  nothing  but  beneficial,  since,  far  from 
being  connected  with  the  normal  conditions  of  human  existence, 
they  place  it  in  peril.  Sexual  instinct  and  sentiment,  on  the 
contrary,  have  their  roots  in  life  itself;  they  are  intimately 
bound  up  with  humanity,  and  therefore  require  quite  a  different 
treatment.  But  human  society  has  guided  them  into  false  and 
pernicious  ways.  It  is  important  to  tm-n  them  from  these  in 
order  to  tranquilize  and  regulate  their  course  by  damming 
them  up  and  canalizing  them. 

The  fundamental  axiom  of  the  sexual  question  is  as  follows: 

With  man,  as  loith  all  living  beings,  the  constant  object  of  all 
sexual  function,  and  consequently  of  sexual  love,  is  the  reproduc- 
tion of  the  species.  It  is  therefore  necessary  to  treat  the  question 
from  the  point  of  view  of  the  natural  sciences,  physiology,  psy- 
chology and  sociology.  This  has  already  been  done  more  than 
once,  but  usually  in  erudite  treatises  which  only  look  upon  one 
side  of  the  question;  or,  on  the  other  hand,  in  a  superficial  and 
often  frivolous  manner. 

To  ensure  happiness,  humanity  should  desire  to  reproduce 
itself  in  a  manner  which  elevates  progressively  all  the  physical 
and  mental  faculties  of  man,  with  regard  to  health  and  bodily 
strength,  as  much  as  to  sentiment,  intelligence,  will,  creative 
imagination,  love  of  work,  joy  of  living,  and  the  sentiment  of 
social  solidarity.  Every  attempt  made  to  solve  the  sexual 
question  should,  therefore,  be  directed  toward  the  futm-e  and 
toward  the  happiness  of  our  descendants. 

It  requires  much  disinterestedness  to  attempt  seriously  any 
sexual  reform.  But,  as  the  human  subject  is  by  nature  ex- 
tremely weak,  as  his  views  are  limited,  especially  in  the  matter 
which  concerns  us,  it  is  absolutely  necessary,  if  we  would  avoid 
Utopia,  to  adapt  the  fundamental  aim  of  sexual  union  to  hap- 
piness and  joy,  even  to  the  natyral  weakness  of  man. 

The  fundamental  difficulty  of  the  problem  lies  in  the  necessity 
for  such  an  adaptation,  and  this  difficulty  requires  us  to  make 


INTRODUCTION  5 

a  clean  sweep  of  prejudices,  traditions  and  prudery.  It  is  this 
which  we  wish  to  attempt. 

Considered  from  an  exalted  point  of  view,  sexual  life  is  beau- 
tiful as  well  as  good.  What  there  is  in  it  which  is  shameful 
and  infamous  is  the  obscenity  and  ignominy  caused  by  the 
coarse  passions  of  egoism  and  folly,  allied  with  ignorance,  erotic 
curiosity  and  mystic  superstition,  often  combined  with  social 
narcotic  intoxication  and  cerebral  anomalies. 

We  shall  divide  our  subject  into  nineteen  chapters.  Chap- 
ters I  to  VII  deal  with  the  natural  history  and  psychology  of 
sexual  life;  Chapter  VIII  with  its  pathology,  and  Chapters  IX 
to  XVIII  with  its  social  role,  that  is  to  say,  its  connection  with 
the  different  domains  of  human  social  life. 


CHAPTER   I 

THE   REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING   BEINGS 

History  of  the  Germ: — Oell-division — Parthenogenesis — Conjuga- 
tion— Mneme — Embryological  Development — Difference  of  the 
Sexes  —  Castration  —  Her?7iaphrodism  —  Heredity  —  Blasto- 
phthoria. 

A  GENERAL  law  of  Organic  life  decrees  that  every  living  indi- 
vidual is  gradually  transformed  in  the  course  of  a  cycle  which  is 
called  individual  life,  and  which  terminates  with  death,  that  is 
by  the  destruction  of  the  greater  part  of  the  organism.  It  then 
becomes  inert  matter,  and  the  germinative  cells  alone  of  all  its 
parts  continue  its  life  under  certain  conditions. 

The  Cells  :  Protoplasm.  The  Nucleus. — Since  the  time  of 
Schwann  (1830)  it  is  agreed  that  the  cell  is  the  most  simple 
morphological  element  which  is  capable  of  living.  Among  the 
lower  organisms  this  element  constitutes  the  entire  individual. 
There  is  no  doubt  that  the  cell  is  already  a  thing  of  high  organi- 
zation. It  is  formed  of  infinitely  small  elements  of  very  different 
value  and  chemical  constitution,  which  form  what  is  called 
protoplasm  or  the  cell-substance.  But  these  infinitely  small 
elements  are  so  far  absolutely  unknown.  It  is  in  them  that  must 
be  sought  the  change  from  inanimate  matter,  that  is  the  chemi- 
cal molecule,  to  living  matter,  a  change  which  was  formerly  be- 
lieved to  lie  in  the  protoplasm  itself,  before  its  complicated 
structure  was  known.  We  need  not  concern  ourselves  here  with 
this  question  which  remains  an  open  one. 

Life  being  established,  the  cell  remains  its  only  known  con- 
stant element.  The  cell  is  composed  of  protoplasm  which 
contains  a  rounded  nucleus  formed  of  nucleo-plasina.  The  nu- 
cleus is  the  most  important  part  of  the  cell,  and  governs  its  life. 

Cell -division. — ^The  lowest  unicellular  organisms,  as  each  cell 
of  a  multicellular  organism,  reproduce  themselves  by  division 

6 


Fig.  1.     Cell  before 
division. 


PLATE  I 

CELL  DIVISION 


Fig.  2.     Division  of 
centrosome. 


Fig.  3.     Formation  of 
chromosomes. 


Fig.  4.     Dis.solution 
of  nucleus. 


Fig.  5.     Lining  vip 
of  chromosomes. 


Fig.  (5.     Division  of 
chromosomes. 


Fig.  7.     Division  of 
chromo.somes. 


Fig.  S.     Attraction  of  chromosomes 
by  centrosomes. 


Fig.  9.     Concentration  of  nuclei. 
Division  of  cell. 


Fig.  10.     Formation  of  new 
chromatin. 


THE  REPRODUCTION  OF  LIVING  BEINGS  7 

or  fission.  Each  cell  originates  from  another  cell  in  the  follow- 
ing manner :  the  cell  divides  in  the  center  as  well  as  its  nucleus, 
and  in  this  way  forms  two  cells  which  grow  by  absorbing  by 
endosmosis  (filtration)  the  nutritive  juices  which  surround  them. 
Death  or  destruction  of  the  cell  is  therefore  death  of  the  entire 
organism  when  this  is  unicellular.  But  it  has  been  previously 
reproduced. 

We  find  here  already  the  special  and  fundamental  act  of  con- 
jugation, that  is  the  fusion  of  two  cells  into  one,  which  serves  to 
strengthen  reproduction.  This  act,  common  to  all  living  things 
including  man,  shows  us  that  continuation  of  life  is  only  possible 
when  from  time  to  time  different  elements,  that  is  elements 
which  have  been  exposed  to  different  influences,  combine  to- 
gether. If  this  conjugation  is  prevented  and  life  is  allowed  to 
continue  indefinitely  by  means  of  fission  or  by  budding  {vide 
infra),  there  results  a  progressive  weakening  and  degeneration 
which  leads  to  the  disappearance  of  the  whole  group  thus  repro- 
duced. 

It  is  necessary  to  explain  here  the  results  of  recent  scientific 
work  on  the  intimate  phenomena  of  cell-division,  for  they  are 
closely  allied  to  those  of  fecundation. 

The  nucleus  of  an  ordinary  cell  presents  itself  in  the  form  of  a 
nearly  spherical  vesicle.  Delicate  methods  of  staining  have 
shown  that  the  nucleus  encloses  several  round  nucleolar  corpus- 
cles, and  also  a  reticulum  which  is  attached  to  its  membrane  and 
spreads  through  'its  whole  substance.  The  liquid  part  of  the 
nucleus  fills  the  meshes  of  this  reticular  tissue,  which  stains 
easily  and  for  this  reason  is  named  chromatin.  The  phenomena 
of  cell  division  in  well-developed  cells  with  nuclei  is  termed 
mitosis.  Certain  lower  forms  of  cells  exist  in  which  the  nucleus 
is  not  well  differentiated.  Mitosis  begins  in  the  nucleus  (Plate 
I).  Figure  1  represents  the  cell  before  division  has  commenced. 
In  the  protoplasm,  by  the  side  of  the  nucleus,  is  formed  a  small 
corpuscle  (c)  which  is  called  the  centrosome.  The  nucleus  itself 
is  marked  b.  When  the  cell  commences  to  divide,  the  meshes 
of  the  network  of  chromatin  contract  and  the  centrosome  di- 
vides into  two  parts  (Fig.  2) .  Shortly  afterward  the  particles  of 
chromatin  concentrate  in  the  form  of  convoluted  rods  called 


8  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

chromosomes  (Figs.  3  and  4).  The  number  of  these  varies 
according  to  the  species  of  organism,  but  remains  constant 
for  each  animal  or  vegetable  species.  At  the  same  time  the 
two  centrosomes  separate  from  each  other  on  each  side  of  the 
nucleus.  The  chromosomes  then  become  shorter  and  thicker 
while  the  nucleus  is  completely  dissolved  in  the  protoplasm  of 
the  cell,  and  its  membrane  disappears  (Fig.  4). 

Directly  afterwards  the  chromosomes  arrange  themselves  regu- 
larly in  line,  like  soldiers  at  drill,  following  one  of  the  larger 
diameters  of  the  cell,  and  forming  a  barrier  between  the  two 
centrosomes  (Fig.  5).  Each  of  the  chromosomes  then  divides 
into  two  parallel  halves  of  equal  thickness  (Fig.  6). 

Figures  3  and  4  show  that,  while  these  changes  are  being  pro- 
duced, each  of  the  two  centrosomes  is  surrounded  by  stellate 
rays.  Some  of  these  rays  extending  in  the  direction  of  the  chro- 
mosomes, become  attached  to  one  of  their  extremities  and  draw 
it  toward  the  corresponding  centrosome  (Fig.  7).  Thus  around 
each  centrosome  are  grouped  as  many  chromosomes  as  the 
mother  cell  possessed  itself  (Fig.  8).  Simultaneously,  the  cell 
enlarges  and  its  protoplasm  commences  to  become  indented  at 
each  end  of  the  diameter  previously  formed  by  the  chromosomes. 
From  this  moment  the  nuclear  liquid  concentrates  itself  around 
each  of  the  groups  of  chromosomes,  the  rays  disappear  and  the 
cell  divides  into  two  halves,  each  containing  a  group  of  chromo- 
somes (Fig.  9);  the  indentation  increases  so  as  to  form  a  par- 
tition across  the  protoplasm.  The  chromosomes  then  form  a 
new  meshwork  of  nuclear  chromatin,  and  we  have  then  two  cells 
each  with  a  nucleus  and  a  centrosome  like  the  mother  cell 
(Fig.  10). 

This  is  what  takes  place  in  the  reproduction  of  all  cells  of  the 
animal  and  vegetable  kingdoms.  In  the  simplest  unicellular 
organisms  which  are  known  fission  constitutes  the  only  means 
of  reproduction.  In  the  complicated  organisms  of  the  higher 
plants  and  animals  each  cell  divides  in  the  manner  indicated 
above,  both  in  the  embryonic  period  and  later  on  during  the 
development  of  each  of  the  organs  which  forms  the  organism. 
This  fact  shows  more  than  any  other  the  intimate  relationship 
which  connects  all  living  organisms.    The  most  remarkable  thing. 


THE   REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING   BEINGS  9 

perhaps,  is  the  almost  mathematical  division  of  the  chromosomes 
into  two  halves,  a  division  which  results  in  the  equal  distribu- 
tion of  their  substance  through  the  whole  organism.  We  shall 
return  to  this  point  later  on. 

Reproduction  by  Budding.  Parthenogenesis.  In  the  animal 
and  vegetable  kingdoms  the  higher  organisms  become  more 
and  more  complicated.  They  are  no  longer  composed  of  a 
single  cell,  but  of  an  increasing  number  of  these  cells  combined 
in  a  whole,  of  which  each  part,  adapted  for  a  special  purpose,  is 
itself  formed  of  cells,  differentiated  as  much  by  their  organic 
form  as  by  their  chemical  and  physical  constitution.  In  this 
way,  in  plants,  are  formed  the  leaves,  flowers,  buds,  branches, 
trunk,  bark,  etc.;  and  in  animals  the  skin,  intestine,  glands, 
blood,  muscles,  nerves,  brain,  sense  organs,  etc.  In  spite  of  the 
great  complication  of  the  divers  living  multicellular  organisms, 
one  often  finds  among  them  the  power  of  reproduction  by 
fission  or  by  budding.  In  certain  animals  and  plants,  groups 
of  cells  vegetate  in  buds  which  separate  from  the  body  later  on 
and  form  a  new  individual;  this  occurs  among  the  polypi  and 
plants  with  bulbs,  etc.  One  can  even  form  a  tree  by  means  of 
a  cutting.  Ants  and  bees,  which  have  not  been  fecundated, 
are  capable  of  laying  eggs  which  develop  by  parthenogenesis 
(virgin  parturition)  and  become  complete  individuals.  But 
these  degenerate  and  disappear  if  reproduction  by  partheno- 
genesis or  budding  is  continued  during  several  generations. 

Among  the  higher  animals,  the  vertebrates  and  man,  there  is 
no  reproduction  without  conjugation;  no  parthenogenesis  or 
budding.  So  far  as  we  have  studied  the  question  we  see  in  the 
animal  and  vegetable  kingdoms  sexual  reproduction,  or  conju- 
gation, as  a  sine  qtm  non  for  the  indefinite  continuation  of  life. 

The  Sexual  Glands.  The  Embryo.  However  complicated  the 
organism,  it  always  possesses  a  special  organ,  the  cells  of  which, 
all  of  the  same  form,  are  reserved  for  the  reproduction  of  the 
species  and  especially  for  conjugation.  The  cells  of  these  or- 
gans, called  sexual  glands,  have  the  power  of  reproducing  them- 
selves so  that  they  reconstruct  the  whole  individual  (the  type 
of  the  species)  from  which  they  arose,  in  an  almost  identical 
form,  by  conjugation  (sometimes  also,  for  a  certain  time,  by 


10  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

parthenogenesis)  under  certain  fixed  conditions  as  soon  as  they 
leave  its  body.  We  can  thus  say  with  Weismann,  speaking 
philosophically,  that  these  germinal  cells  continue  the  life  of 
their  parents,  so  that  in  reality  death  only  destroys  part  of  the 
individual,  namely,  that  wliich  has  been  specially  adapted  for 
certain  exclusively  individual  ends.  Each  individual,  therefore, 
continues  to  live  in  his  descendants. 

The  germinal  cell  divides  into  a  number  of  .cells  called  embry- 
onic, which  become  differentiated  into  layers  or  groups  which 
later  on  form  the  different  organs  of  the  body.  The  embryonic 
period  is  the  name  given  to  the  period  between  the  exit  of 
the  germinal  cell  from  the  maternal  body  and  the  final  complete 
development  which  it  acquires  in  becoming  the  adult  individual. 
During  this  period  the  organism  undergoes  the  most  singular 
metamorphoses.  In  certain  cases  it  forms  a  free  embryo  which 
appears  to  be  complete,  having  a  special  form  and  mode  of  life, 
but  which  finally  becomes  transformed  into  an  entirely  different 
sexual  individual.  Thus  from  the  egg  of  a  butterfly  there  first 
emerges  a  caterpillar,  which  lives  and  grows  for  some  time,  then 
changes  to  a  chrysalis  and  finally  to  a  butterfly.  The  cater- 
pillar and  the  chrysalis  belong  to  the  embryonic  period.  During 
this  period  every  animal  reproduces  in  an  abbreviated  manner 
certain  forms  which  resemble  more  or  less  those  tlirough  which 
its  ancestors  have  passed.  The  caterpillar,  for  example,  re- 
sembles the  worm  which  is  the  ancestor  of  the  insects.  Haeckel 
calls  this  the  fundamental  hiogenetic  law.  We  are  not  concerned 
here  with  embryology,  and  will  content  ourselves  with  some  of 
the  main  points. 

Germinal  Cells.  Hermaphrodites.  We  now  come  to  conju- 
gation. In  order  to  avoid  complications  we  will  leave  aside 
plants  and  speak  only  of  animals.  Among  multicellular  ani- 
mals, sometimes  in  the  same  individual,  sometimes  in  different 
individuals,  occur  two  kinds  of  sexual  glands,  each  containing  one 
kind  of  cells — the  male  cells  and  the  female  cells.  When  both 
kinds  of  sexual  glands  occur  in  the  same  indi^ddual,  the  animal 
is  said  to  be  nermaphrodite.  When  they  develop  in  two  different 
individuals  the  animals  are  of  distinct  sexes.  Snails,  for  exam- 
ple, are  hermaphrodite.     There  also  exist  lower  multicellular 


\ 


PLATE   II 

FERTILIZATION   OF  THE  OVUM  BY  THE  SPERMATOZOID 


DIAGRAM  OF  OVUM  AND  SPERMATOZOID 

Fig.  11.     o,  Vitelline  membrane;  ?>,  protoplasm,  or  vitellus;  c,  nucleus  ■with  chromatin; 

(1,  spennatozoid  penetrating  egg;  c,  another  spermatozoid  arrested  by  the  vitelline 

membrane. 


Fig.  12.     Formation  of 
centrosome. 


Fig.  13.    Formation  of  male  nucleus  by  | 
spermatozoid.    Division  of  centrosome. 


Fig.  14. 


Development  of  nucleus  of 
spermatozoid. 


Fig.  15.    Nucleus  of  spermatozoid  attains 
same  size  as  that  of  ovum. 


Fig. 


16.     Formation    of  male  and 
female  chromosomes. 


Fig. 


17.     Lining  up  of  male  and 
female  chromosomes. 


THE  REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING  BEINGS  11 

animals  which  reproduce  by  budding,  but  among  which  conju- 
gation takes  place  from  time  to  time.  We  shall  not  consider 
these  animals  any  further,  as  they  are  too  remote  to  interest  us 
here. 

Spermatozoa  and  Ova. — In  all  the  higher  animals,  including 
the  hermaphrodites,  the  male  germinal  cells,  or  spermatozoa  are 
characterized  by  their  mobility.  Their  protoplasm  is  contractile 
and  their  form  varies  according  to  the  species.  In  man  and 
vertebrate  animals  they  resemble  infinitely  small  tadpoles,  and 
their  tails  are  equally  mobile.  The  female  germinative  cell,  on 
the  contrary,  is  immobile  and  much  larger  than  the  male  cell. 
Conjugation  consists  in  the  movement  of  the  male  cell,  by  means 
of  variable  mechanism,  toward  the  female  cell,  or  egg,  into  the 
protoplasm  of  which  it  enters.  At  this  moment  it  produces  on 
the  surface  of  the  egg  a  coagulation,  which  prevents  the  entrance 
of  a  second  spermatozoid. 

The  egg  and  the  spermatozoid  both  consist  of  protoplasm 
containing  a  nucleus.  But,  while  the  spermatozoid  has  only 
a  small  nucleus  and  very  little  protoplasm,  the  egg  has  a  large 
nucleus  and  a  large  quantity  of  protoplasm.  In  certain  species 
the  protoplasm  of  the  egg  grows  in  the  maternal  organism  in  a 
regular  manner  to  form  the  vitellus  (yolk  of  egg)  which  serves  as 
nourishment  for  the  embryo  for  a  long  period  of  its  existence. 
This  occurs  in  birds  and  reptiles. 

Conjugation. — ^The  phenomena  of  conjugation  were  made 
clear  by  van  Beneden  and  Hertwig.  These  phenomena,  as  we 
have  seen,  commence  among  unicellular  organisms.  In  these 
they  do  not  constitute  reproduction,  but  the  vital  reenf orcement 
of  certain  individuals.  Conjugation  takes  place  in  a  different 
maimer  in  different  cases. 

For  example,  a  unicellular  animal  applies  itself  against  one 
of  its  fellows.  The  nucleus  of  each  cell  divides  into  two.  Then 
the  protoplasm  of  the  two  cells  fuses  over  the  whole  surface  of 
contact,  and  half  the  nucleus  of  the  first  cell  penetrates  the  sec- 
ond cell,  while  half  the  nucleus  of  the  latter  enters  the  first  cell. 
After  this  exchange  the  cells  separate  from  each  other  and  each 
exchanged  half  of  the  nucleus  fuses  with  the  primitive  half  of 
the  nucleus  remaining  in  the  cell. 


12  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

From  this  moment  each  cell  continues  to  reproduce  itself  by 
fission,  as  we  have  seen  above.  In  another  form,  two  cells  meet 
and  fuse  completely.  Their  nuclei  become  applied  against  each 
other  and  each  exchanges  half  its  substance  with  the  other  as 
in  the  preceding  case,  so  that  the  final  result  is  the  same.  In 
both  cases  the  two  conjugated  cells  are  identical,  and  one  can- 
not call  them  male  and  female. 

Penetration  of  the  Spermatozoid  into  the  E^g. — In  all  the  higher 
animals  in  which  the  germinal  cells  are  of  two  kinds,  male  and 
female,  conjugation  takes  place  in  rather  a  different  manner. 
Here,  the  female  cell  or  egg  only  reproduces  itself  exceptionally 
by  parthenogenesis.  It  usually  contains  no  chromosomes  and 
often  too  little  chromatin,  so  that  it  perishes  when  conjugation 
does  not  occur. 

The  spermatozoid  swims  by  means  of  its  tail  to  meet  the  egg. 
As  soon  as  it  touches  it  it  penetrates  it  and  the  coagulation 
which  we  have  mentioned  is  produced.  This  coagulation  forms 
the  vitelline  membrane,  which  prevents  the  entry  of  other  sper- 
matozoids.  If,  from  pathological  causes  the  entry  of  several 
spermatozoids  takes  place,  there  results,  according  to  Fol,  a 
double  or  triple  monster. 

In  Fig.  11  on  Plate  II,  we  see  the  egg  with  its  vitelline  mem- 
brane and  nucleus,  the  chromatin  network  of  which  is  marked 
in  blue:  h  shows  the  protoplasm  of  the  egg  or  vitellus;  a  the 
vitelline  membrane;  d  the  spermatozoid  which  has  just  entered, 
and  the  nucleus  of  which,  composed  chiefly  of  chromatin,  is 
colored  red,  while  its  tail  has  performed  its  task  and  is  about  to 
disappear.  The  letters  e,  /,  and  g,  show  a  spermatozoid  which 
has  arrived  too  late. 

Before  the  head  of  the  spermatozoid  which  has  entered,  ap- 
pears a  centrosome  (Fig.  12)  which  it  brings  to  the  egg  with  its 
small  amount  of  protoplasm,  and  around  this  centrosome  rays 
form,  as  in  the  case  of  cellular  fission.  At  the  same  time  a 
nuclear  liquid  arising  from  the  protoplasm  of  the  egg  becomes 
concentrated  around  the  chromatin  of  the  spermatozoid,  while 
the  nucleus  of  the  egg  remains  in  place  and  does  not  change. 
The  nucleus  of  the  spermatozoid,  on  the  contrary,  begins  to 
grow  rapidly.     It  forms  half  the  number  of  chromosomes  cor- 


THE   REPRODUCTION  OF   LIVING  BEINGS  13 

responding  to  the  cell  of  the  species  to  which  it  belongs,  and 
grows  at  the  expense  of  the  vitellus  of  the  egg.     During  this 
,  time  the  centrosome  divides  into  two  halves,  which  progress 
slowly  on  each  side  toward  the  periphery  of  the  egg,  as  in  the 
case  of  fission  (see  Plate  I),  while  the  chromatin  of  the  chro- 
;  mosomes  of  the  spermatozoid  is  dissolved  in  the  network.    The 
!  nucleus  thus  formed  by  the  spermatozoid  enlarges  more  and 
:  more  (Figs.  13  and  14)  till  it  attains  the  size  and  shape  of  that 
of  the  egg  (Fig.  15).     The  male  and  female  chromatin  are  col- 
ored red  and  blue  respectively. 

I  Then  only  commences  activity  of  the  nucleus  of  the  egg,  at 
the  same  time  as  fresh  activity  on  the  part  of  the  nucleus  of  the 
I  spermatozoid.  Before  this,  however,  the  nucleus  of  the  egg 
has  thrown  off  a  part  of  its  chromatin  called  a  polar  body,  and 
it  now  possesses  only  half  as  much  chromatin  as  the  other  cells 
of  the  body  of  the  individual.  The  nucleus  of  the  egg  and  that 
of  the  spermatozoid  then  begin  at  the  same  time  to  concentrate 
their  chromatin  in  the  form  of  chromosomes  (Fig.  16)  which 
arrange  themselves  regularly  in  the  middle  line  exactly  as  shown 
in  Plate  I,  and  divide  longitudinally  into  two  halves  which  are 
then  attracted  in  opposite  directions  by  the  rays  of  each  of  the 
centrosomes  (Fig.  17).  Figure  17,  of  Plate  II,  thus  corresponds 
exactly  to  Fig.  6,  of  Plate  I. 

In  fact,  the  growth  of  the  nucleus  of  the  spermatozoid  has 
given  to  its  substance  the  same  power  of  development  as  to  that 
of  the  nucleus  of  the  egg.  Both  enter  into  conjugation  in  equal 
parts,  which  symbolizes  the  social  equality  and  the  rights  of 
the  two  sexes! 

The  signification  of  these  facts  is  as  follows :  as  soon  as,  in  the 
course  of  development,  the  conjugated  nuclei  divide  again  into 
two  cells,  as  in  Figs.  7  to  10,  of  Plate  I,  each  of  these  two  cells 
contains  almost  the  same  quantity  of  paternal  as  maternal 
chromatin.  We  do  not  say  exactly  as  much,  for  the  paternal 
and  maternal  influences  are  not  divided  equally  in  the  descend- 
ants. This  phenomenon  may  be  explained  by  what  Semon  calls 
alternating  ecphoria  in  mnemic  dichotomy.  (  Vide  infra.)  As 
cell  division  continues  in  the  same  way  during  embryonic  life, 
it  follows  that  each  cell,  or  at  least  each  nucleus  of  the  future 


14  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

organism,  will  contain  on  the  average  half  its  substance  and 
energy  from  the  paternal  and  half  from  the  maternal  side.         I 

Heredity.     The  Mneme. — The  secret  of  heredity  lies  in  the  ! 
phenomena  which  have  been  just  described.     Hereditary  influ- ; 
ence  preserves  all  its  primary  power  and  original  qualities  in  the 
chromosomes,  which  enlarge  and  divide,  while  the  vitelline  sulv 
stance,  absorbed  by  the  chromosomes  and  transformed  by  the 
vital  chemical  processes  into  the  specific  substance  of  the  chro- ' 
mosomes,  loses  its  specific  and  plastic  vital  energy,  as  completely 
as  the  food  which  we  swallow  loses  its  energy  in  forming  the 
structure  of  our  living  organs.    We  do  not  acquire  any  of  the 
characters  of  the  ox  by  eating  beefsteaks;  and  the  spermatozoid, 
after  eating  much  vitelline  protoplasm,  preserves  its  own  hered- 
itary energies,  increased  and  fortified,  but  without  change  in  , 
their  qualities. 

In  this  way  the  nuclear  chromatin  of  our  germinal  cells  be- 
comes the  carrier  of  all  the  hereditary  qualities  of  the  species  I 
(hereditary  mneme),  and  more  especially  those  of  our  direct 
ancestors.  The  uniformity  of  the  intracellular  phenomena  in 
cell  division  and  conjugation  proves,  however,  that,  without  | 
being  capable  of  reproducing  the  individual,  the  other  non- 
germinal  cells  of  the  body  may  also  possess  these  hereditary 
energies,  and  that  there  exists,  hidden  behind  all  these  facts, 
an  unknown  law  of  life,  the  explanation  of  which  is  reserved  for 
the  future. 

However,  a  recent  work  based  on  an  idea  of  the  physiologist, 
E.  Hering,  which  looks  upon  instinct  as  a  kind  of  memory  of  the 
species,  opens  up  a  new  horizon.  I  refer  to  the  book  of  Richard 
Semon:  "Thewneme  considered  as  the  conservative  principle 
in  the  transmutations  of  organic  life."  {Die  Mneme  als  erhalt- 
endes  Prinzip  im  Wechsel  des  organischen  Geschehens,  Leipzig, 
1904.) 

Conception  of  Irritation.*— By  the  aid  of  the  fundamental 
facts    of    morphological    science,    biological    and    psychological, 

*I  insert  here  some  passages  intended  for  more  advanced  readers,  but 
this  does  not  imply  that  they  are  of  less  importance.  On  the  contrary  I 
strongly  advise  all  my  readers  to  try  and  understand  the  theories  of  Hering 
and  Semon,  which  appear  to  me  to  throw  a  new  light  on  the  question  of 
transformation  and  heredity. 


THE   REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING   BEINGS  15 

Semon  proves  that  Hering's  idea  is  more  than  an  analogy,  and 
that  there  is  a  fundamental  identity  in  the  mechanism  of  or- 
ganic life.  In  order  to  avoid  the  terminology  of  psychology 
which  tends  to  be  equivocal,  Semon  employs  some  new  terms  to 
designate  his  new  ideas,  based  on  the  fundamental  conception 
of  irritation  in  its  physiological  sense. 

Semon  defines  irritation  as  an  energetic  action  on  the  organism 
which  determines  a  series  of  complicated  changes  in  the  irritable 
substance  of  the  living  organism.  The  condition  of  the  organism 
thus  modified,  which  lasts  as  long  as  the  irritation,  is  called  by 
Semon  the  state  of  irritation.  Before  the  action  of  irritation,  the 
organism  is  in  a  condition  which  Semon  calls  the  primary  state 
of  indifference,  and  after  its  action,  in  the  secondary  state  of 
indifference. 

Engram.  Ecphoria. — If,  when  an  irritation  has  entirely  ceased, 
the  irritable  substance  of  the  living  organism  becomes  modified 
permanently  during  its  secondary  state  of  indifference,  Semon 
calls  the  action  engraphic.  To  the  modification  itself  he  gives 
the  word  engram.  The  sum  of  the  hereditary  and  individual 
engrams  thus  produced  in  a  living  organism  is  designated  by  the 
term  mneme.  Semon  gives  the  name  ecphoria  to  the  revival  of 
the  engram  by  the  repetition  of  part  only  of  the  original  irritation, 
or  by  the  entire  but  weakened  reproduction  of  the  whole  state  of 
irritation  of  the  organism,  which  was  originally  produced  in  a 
synchronous  manner  with  the  primary  irritation. 

Thus,  an  engram  may  be  ecphoriated  (that  is  to  say,  repro- 
duced or  revived)  by  the  return  of  one  part  of  the  complex  of 
primary  irritations  which  produced  it.  A  young  dog,  for  exam- 
ple, is  attacked  by  urchins  who  throw  stones  at  it.  It  experiences 
two  kinds  of  irritation:  (1)  the  urchins  stooping  down  and  throw- 
ing stones  (optic  irritation);  (2)  the  pain  caused  by  the  stones 
(tactile  irritation). 

In  its  brain  are  produced  two  associated  series  of  corresponding 
engrams.  Previously,  this  dog  did  not  react  when  it  saw  people 
stoop  down.  From  this  moment  it  will  run  away  and  howl  at 
the  sight,  without  any  stone  being  thrown  at  it.  Thus  the  tactile 
engram  will  be  ecphoriated  by  the  repetition  of  the  original 
associated  irritation.  In  the  same  way,  the  image  of  a  tree  in 
a  known  landscape  will  ecphoriate  the  entire  landscape. 

Moreover,  an  engram  may  be  revived  by  the  enfeebled  return 
of  the  primary  irritating  agent  which  produced  it,  or  by  an  analo- 
gous enfeebled  irritation.     Thus,  the  sight  of  a  photograph  will 


16  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

revive  the  image  of  a  known  person.  A  certain  kind  of  maize 
imported  for  a  long  time  into  Norway  and  influenced  in  that 
country  during  many  generations  by  the  sun  of  the  long  summer 
days,  finally  accelerated  its  time  of  maturation.  When  imported 
again  to  the  south  of  Europe  it  first  preserved  its  faculty  of  accel- 
erated maturation  in  spite  of  the  shortness  of  the  days  (Schubeler). 
Semon  gives  a  series  of  analogous  examples  which  show  how 
engrams  repeated  during  several  generations  accumulate  and  end 
by  becoming  ecphoriated  when  they  have  acquired  enough  power. 

Engrams  may  be  associated  simultaneously  in  space,  such  as 
those  of  sight.  But  they  may  also  be  associated  in  succession, 
such  as  those  of  hearing  and  of  ontogen3\  Simultaneous  en- 
grams are  associated  in  every  direction  with  the  same  intensity. 
Successive  engrams,  on  the  contrary',  are  associated  more  strongly 
forwards  than  backwards,  and  have  only  two  poles.  In  the 
succession  ab,  a  acts  more  strongly  on  b  than  b  on  a.  In  the  suc- 
cessions of  engrams  it  often  happens  that  two  or  more  analogous 
engrams  are  associated  in  a  manner  more  or  less  equivalent  to  a 
preceding  engram.  Semon  calls  this  phenomenon  dichotomy, 
trichotomy,  etc.  But  in  the  successions,  two  engrams  cannot 
be  ecphoriated  simultaneously.  Hence  the  phenomenon  which 
Semon  names  alternating  ecphoria;  that  is  sometimes  one,  some- 
times the  other  of  the  constituent  engrams,  for  example,  of  a 
dichotomy,  which  arrives  at  ecphoria.  Similarly,  the  engram 
of  the  ecphoriated  dichotomy  is  most  often  that  which  has  been 
previously  most  often  repeated. 

In  the  laws  of  ontogeny  and  heredity  alternating  ecphoria  plays 
an  important  part.  The  branch  less  often  repeated  remains  latent 
and  the  other  only  is  ecphoriated.  But  certain  combinations 
which  reenforce  the  latent  branch  or  paralyze  the  other  may 
induce  ecphoria  of  the  first  to  the  second  generation. 

Semon  also  shows  that  the  phenomena  of  regeneration  in  the 
embryo,  as  well  as  those  of  the  adult,  obey  the  law  of  the  mneme. 

Homophony. — The  terms  engram  and  ecphoria  correspond  to 
the  well-known  introspective  phenomena  in  psychology  of  mem- 
ory and  the  association  of  ideas.  Engrams  are  thus  ecphoriated. 
At  the  time  of  such  phenomena  every  mnemic  irritation  of  the 
engrams  vibrates  simultaneously  with  the  state  of  synchronous 
irritation  produced  by  a  new  irritation.  This  simultaneous  irri- 
tation is  named  by  Semon  homophony.  When  a  partial  discord  is 
produced  between  the  new  irritation  and  the  mnemic  irritation, 
the  organism  always  tends  to  reestablish  homophony  (harmony). 


THE   REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING   BEINGS  17 

This  is  seen  in  psychological  introspection  by  activity  of  atten- 
tion; in  embryology  by  the  phenomenon  of  regeneration;  and  in 
phylogeny  by  that  of  adaptation. 

Relying  on  these  convincing  facts,  Semon  shows  that  irritative 
actions  are  only  localized  at  first  in  their  zone  of  entry  (primary 
zone);  but  that  afterward  they  irradiate  or  vibrate,  gradually 
becoming  weaker  in  the  whole  organism  (not  only  in  the  nervous 
system,  for  the}^  also  act  on  plants).  By  this  means,  engraphia, 
although  infinitely  enfeebled,  may  finally  reach  the  germinal 
cells.  Semon  then  shows  how  the  most  feeble  engraphias  may 
gradually  arrive  at  ecphoria,  as  the  result  of  numerous  repeti- 
tions (in  phylogeny  after  innumerable  generations).  This  is  how 
the  mnemic  principle  allows  us  to  conceive  the  possibility  of  an 
infinitely  slow  heredity  of  characters  acciuired  by  individuals,  a 
heredity  resulting  from  prolonged  repetition. 

The  facts  invoked  by  Weismann  against  the  heredity  of  ac- 
quired characters  lose  nothing  of  their  weight  by  this,  for  the  in- 
fluence of  crossing  (conjugation)  and  selection  transforms  the 
material  organic  forms  in  an  infinitely  more  rapid  and  intense 
manner  than  individual  mnemic  engraphias.  The  latter,  on  the 
other  hand,  furnish  the  explanation  of  the  mutations  of  de  Vries, 
which  appear  to  be  only  sudden  ecphoria  of  accumulated  long 
engraphic  actions. 

The  way  in  which  Semon  studies  and  discusses  the  laws  of 
the  mneme  in  morphology,  physiology  and  psychology,  is  truly 
magisterial,  and  the  perspective  which  opens  out  from  these  new 
ideas  is  extensive.  The  mneme,  with  "the  aid  of  the  energetic 
action  of  the  external  world,  acts  on  organisms  by  preserving 
them  and  combining  them  by  engraphia,  while  selection  elimi- 
nates all  that  is  ill-adapted,  and  homophony  reestablishes  the 
equilibrium.  The  irritations  of  the  external  world,  therefore, 
furnish  the  material  for  the  construction  of  organisms.  I  confess 
to  having  been  converted  by  Semon  to  this  way  of  conceiving  the 
heredity  of  acquired  characters.  Instead  of  several  nebulous  hy- 
potheses, we  have  only  one — the  nature  of  mnemic  engraphia.  It  is 
for  the  future  to  discover  its  origin  in  physical  and  chemical  laws. 

I  must  refer  my  readers  to  Semen's  book,  for  this  volume  of 
343  pages,  filled  with  facts  and  proofs,  cannot  be  condensed  into 
a  few  paragraphs. 

Each  Cell  bears  in  itself  Ancestral  Energy.  As  we  have  already 
seen,  the  germinal  cells  are  not  the  only  ones  which  possess  the 


18  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

energies  of  all  the  characters  of  the  species.  On  the  contrary  it 
becomes  more  and  more  certain,  from  further  investigation,  that 
each  cell  of  the  body  bears  in  itself,  so  to  speak,  all  the  energies 
of  the  species,  as  is  distinctly  seen  in  plants.  But  in  all  the  cells 
which  are  not  capable  of  germinating,  these  energies  remain 
incapable  of  development.  It  results  that  such  energies,  re- 
maining virtual,  have  no  practical  importance. 

In  an  analogous  sense  we  may  say  that  all  the  cells  of  the 
body  are  hermaphrodite,  as  all  germinal  cells,  for  each  possesses 
in  itself  the  undifferentiated  energies  of  each  sex.  Each  sper- 
matozoid  contains  all  the  energies  of  the  paternal  and  maternal 
ancestry  of  man,  and  each  egg  those  of  the  paternal  and  maternal 
ancestry  of  woman.  The  male  and  the  female  are  only  the 
bearers  of  each  kind  of  germinal  cells  necessary  for  conjugation, 
and  each  of  these  bearers  only  differs  from  the  others  by  its 
sexual  cells  and  by  what  is  called  correlative  sexual  differences. 
But  we  must  not  forget  that  the  germinal  cells  themselves  are 
only  differentiated  at  a  certain  period  in  the  development  of 
the  embryo;  they  are  thus  hermaphrodite  originally  and  only 
become  male  and  female  later. 

New  experiments  made  on  the  eggs  of  sea  urchins  and  other 
organisms  have  shown  that  conjugation  may  be  replaced  by  an 
external  irritating  agent;  for  example,  the  action  of  certain 
chemical  substances  is  sufficient  to  make  eggs  develop  by  par- 
thenogenesis which  would  have  died  wdthout  this  action.  An 
entire  being  has  been  successfully  produced  from  an  egg  divided 
into  two  by  means  of  a  hair.  And  even  from  the  protoplasm  of 
the  egg  \sdthout  its  nucleus,  with  the  aid  of  a  spermatozoid.  We 
must  not,  however,  base  premature  hypotheses  on  these  facts. 

When  a  female  cell,  or  egg,  develops  without  fecundation 
(parthenogenesis)  its  nucleus  enlarges  and  divides  in  the  same 
manner  as  conjugated  nuclei  (mitosis). 

A  point  of  general  interest  is  what  is  called  the  specific  poly- 
embryony  of  certain  parasitic  insects  (hymenoptera  of  the  genus 
Encyrtus).  According  to  Marchal,  their  eggs  grow  and  divide 
into  a  considerable  number  of  secondary  eggs,  each  of  which 
gives  rise  to  an  embryo  and  later  on  a  perfect  insect.  By  shak- 
ing the  eggs  of  certain  marine  animals  they  have  been  caused 


THE  KEPRODUCTION  OF  LIVING   BEINGS  19 

to  divide  into  several  eggs  and  thus  to  produce  several  embryos. 
All  the  individuals  arising  from  the  division  of  the  same  egg  of 
Encyrtus  are  of  the  same  sex. 

Embryology. — It  is  not  necessary  to  describe  here  in  detail 
the  different  changes  which  the  two  conjugated  cells  pass  through 
to  become  an  adult  man.  This  is  the  object  of  the  science  of 
embryology.  We  shall  return  to  this  in  Chapter  III.  A  few 
words  are  necessary,  however,  to  explain  the  general  principles. 

Ovulation.  The  corpus  luteum. — The  ovaries  of  woman  (Fig. 
18)  contain  a  considerable  number  of  cells  or  ovules,  although 
infinitely  less  than  the  number  of  spermatozoids  contained  in 
the  testicles.  From  time  to  time  some  of  these  ovules  enlarge 
and  are  surrounded  by  a  vesicle  with  liquid  contents,  which  is 
called  the  Graafian  follicle.  At  the  time  of  the  monthly  periods 
an  egg  (sometimes  two)  is  discharged  from  its  Graafian  follicle, 
from  one  or  other  ovary.  This  phenomenon  is  called  ovulation. 
The  empty  follicle  becomes  cicatrized  in  the  ovary  and  is  called 
the  corpus  luteum  (yellow  body). 

The  egg  after  its  discharge  arrives  at  the  abdominal  orifice 
of  the  Fallopian  tube,  which  communicates  directly  with  the 
abdominal  cavity.  Some  authors  state  that  the  end  of  the  tube 
becomes  applied  against  the  ovary  by  the  aid  of  muscular  move- 
ment and,  so  to  speak,  sucks  in  the  discharged  ovule,  while 
others  hold  that  the  movements  of  the  vibratile  cilia,  ^vith 
which  the  epithelium  of  the  tubes  is  furnished,  suffice  to  draw 
the  ovule  into  its  cavity.      Figure  18  explains  this  phenomenon. 

Having  arrived  in  the  tube,  the  ovule  moves  very  slowly  in 
the  almost  capillary  tube  by  means  of  the  vibratile  cilia  and 
arrives  in  the  cavity  of  the  womb.  Fecundation  probably  takes 
place  most  often  at  the  entrance  to  the  tube  or  in  its  canal; 
sometimes  possibly  in  the  womb.  On  some  occasions  a  squad 
of  spermatozoids  advances  to  meet  the  descending  egg,  and 
numerous  spermatozoids  are  often  found  in  the  tubes,  even  as 
far  as  the  abdominal  cavity. 

Fixation  of  the  egg.  Formation  of  the  Decidua. — After  fe- 
cundation, the  egg  becomes  attached  to  the  mucous  membrane 
of  the  cavity  of  the  womb.  This  mucous  membrane  proliferates 
and  becomes  gradually  detached  from  the  womb  to  form  the 


Left  tube 


Labia  minora 
Labia  majora 


Fig.  18.  Diagrammatic  section  in  median  plane  of  the  female  genital  organs. 
It  shows  the  position  of  an  o\aile  which  has  just  been  discharged  lying 
in  the  opening  of  the  right  tube,  and  that  of  another  ovary  fecimdated 
and  surrounded  by  the  decidual  membrane.  In  reality  this  could  hardly 
coexist  with  the  other  o\aile  freely  discharged.  In  the  right  ovary  are 
seen  o^oiles  in  various  degrees  of  maturity  in  their  Graafian  follicles: 
also  a  corpus  luteum — an  empty  Graafian  follicle  after  expulsion  of  the 
ovule.  The  figure  also  shows  the  end  of  the  penis  in  the  vagina  at  the 
moment  of  ejaculation  of  semen,  and  the  position  of  a  preventive  to 
avoid  fecundation. 


THE  REPRODUCTION  OF   LIVING  BEINGS 


21 


membrana  decidua  which  envelops  the  egg  or  ovule.  An  egg 
fecundated  and  fixed  in  this  way  may  keep  its  position  and 
grow  during  the  first  weeks  of  pregnancy,  by  the  aid  of  villosities 
covering  its  envelope  which  penetrate  the  wall  of  the  womb. 

The  womb.  The  placenta.  The  womb  or  uterus  is  the  size 
of  a  small  egg  flattened  in  one  direction.  It  terminates  below 
in  the  neck  or  cervix,  which  is  prolonged  into  the  vagina  as  a 
projection,  called  the  vaginal  portion  of  the  uterus.  The  cavity 
of  the  womb  is  continued  into  the  neck  and  opens  below  in  the 


^^ 


Uterus 


-  -Mouth  of  tube 


Fig.  19.     The  mouth  of  the  tube  applied  to  the  ovary  at  the  moment  of 
expulsion  of  the  o\aile. 


vagina  by  an  aperture  which  is  round  in  virgins  and  is  called 
the  external  os  uteri.  The  walls  of  the  womb  consist  of  a  thick 
layer  of  unstriped  muscle.  W^ien  childbirth  takes  place  it 
causes  tearing  which  makes  the  external  os  uteri  irregular  and 
fissured.  During  copulation  the  aperture  of  the  penis  or  male 
organ  is  placed  nearly  opposite  the  os  uteri,  which  facilitates 
the  entrance  of  spermatozoa  into  the  uterus.  (For  the  illus- 
tration of  these  points  see  Fig.  18.) 

The  vitellus  and  the  membrane  of  the  egg  enlarge  with  the 
embryo  and  absorb  by  endosmosis  the  nutritive  matter  neces- 
sary for  the  latter,  contained  in  the  maternal  blood.  The  womb 
itself  enlarges  at  the  same  time  as  the  embryo. 


22 


THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 


Umb, 


Vill. 


The  fasciculus  at- 
tached to  the  embryo 
is  the  allantois  which 

-  -  -  chor.  becomes  the  umbilical 
cord.     The    vertebrae 

**-  -  Emb.  are  already  easy  to 
recognize  in  this  em- 
bryo. The  embryo  is 
formed  from  a  portion 
of  blastoderm,  that 
to  say,  from  the 


Am. 


Fig.  20.     Human    egg    of   the    second   week: 
magnified  eight  times.     (After  Kolliker.) 


Chor. 

Vill. 

Emb. 

Umb. 
Am. 


Chorion  or  envelope  of  the  egg. 

Villi  of  the  chorion. 

Embryo  (near  the  head  are  seen  the 

branchial  arches). 
Umbilical  vesicle. 
Amnion. 


IS 

cellular  layer  applied 
to  the  membranes  of 
the  egg  and  arising 
from  the  successive 
divisions  of  the  two 
primary  conjugated 
cells  and  their  daugh- 
ter cells.  The  embryo  has  the  form  of  a  spatula  with  the  head 
at  one  end  and  the  tail  at  the  other.  From  its  walls  is  detached 
a  surrounding  vesicle  (Fig.  20) 
called  the  aynnion,  while  another 
vesicle,  the  umbilical  vesicle,  grows 
from  its  ventral  surface  and  serves, 
in  birds,  for  the  vitelline  circulation 
of  the  egg  which  is  detached  from 
the  mother's  body. 

In  man,  the  umbilical  vesicle  is 
unimportant.     In  its  place  the  cir- 
culation of  the  blood  takes  place 
by  the  aid  of  another  vesicle,  called  fig.  21.    Embrj-o  of  four  weeks, 
the  allantois,  which  arises  from  the  (After  Kulhker). 

1.  Auditory  vesicle. 

2.  Ocular  vesicle. 

3.  Olfactory  fossa. 

4.  Bud  forming  upper  maxilla. 

5.  Bud  of  lower  maxilla. 

6.  Right  ear. 

7.  Liver. 

8.  Upper  limb. 
,  ,  J  11-1  1  9.  Lower  limb, 
blood  vessels  which  meet   the   ma-  lo.  Caudal  extremity. 


intestine  of  the  embryo,  and  which 
becomes  attached  to  the  walls  of 
the  womb  in  the  form  of  a  thick 
disk  called  the  placenta. 
The  placenta  is  formed  of  dilated 


THE  REPRODUCTION  OF  LIVING  BEINGS 


23 

The 


ternal  blood  vessels,   also   dilated,  in   the  uterine  wall 
allantois  later  on  becomes  the  umbilical  cord. 

In  the  placenta  the  embryonic  and  maternal  vessels  without 
actually  communicating,  are  placed  in  intimate  contact,  which 
allows  nutritive  matter  and  oxygen  to  pass  by  endosmosis  from 
the  maternal  vessels  to  those  of  the  embryo.  Figure  21  shows 
a  human  embryo  at  the  beginning  of  the  fifth  week  of  pregnancy. 

Duration  of  pregnancy.     Birth.     Pregnancy  lasts  from  con- 


Liver 


Placenta 


-Vertebral 
column 


WaU  of 

uteru3- 


FiG.  22.     Sagittal  section  of  a  primipara  in  the  last  month  of  pregnancy. 

jugation,  which  is  synonymous  with  conception,  till  birth,  that 
is  about  nine  months  (ten  lunar  months  of  four  weeks).  The 
embryo  is  then  ready  to  separate  from  the  maternal  body  (Fig. 
22).  By  the  act  of  birth  it  is  expelled  violently,  bringing  with 
it  the  umbilical  cord  and  the  placenta  (Fig.  23).  Immediately 
afterward  the  empty  womb  contracts  strongly  and  gradually 
recovers  its  former  size.  The  sudden  interruption  of  its  com- 
munications with  the  maternal  circulation  deprives  the  embryo, 
which  has  suddenly  become  a  child,  of  its  nutritive  matter  and 
oxygen. 


24  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

In  order  to  avoid  suffocation  it  is  obliged  to  breathe  atmos- 
pheric au-  immediately,  for  its  blood  becomes  dark  by  saturation 
with  carbonic  acid,  which  irritates  the  respiratory  nerve  centers. 
The  first  independent  act  of  the  new-born  child  is,  therefore,  a 


Portal  vein  — 


Liver 


—Intestines 


,-.  Umbilical 
cord 


Internal 

OS  uteri 

, .  ^  _  Bladder 

._  Pubis 
_  External 
f>  OS  uteri 

M^ Urethra 

Bag  of 
5'  7,\  waters 


Fig.  23.  Sagittal  section  of  frozen  body  of  a  woman  in  labor:  the  head  of 
the  child  is  engaged  in  the  neck  of  the  womb;  the  orifice  of  the  neck 
of  the  womb  {os  uteri)  is  already  fully  dilated  and  the  bag  of  waters 
commences  to  project  from  the  vulva:  it  is  formed  by  the  former  mem- 
branes of  the  egg  and  the  decidua. 

nervous  reflex  determined  by  asphyxia,  and  is  performed  with 
the  first  cry.  Soon  afterward  the  infant  begins  to  suck,  so  as 
not  to  die  of  hunger,  while  the  umbilical  cord,  having  become 
useless,  shrivels  up,  and  the  placenta  is  destroyed  (some  animals 


THE   REPRODUCTION  OF   LIVING   BEINGS  25 

eat  it).  The  new-born  infant  is  only  distinguished  from  the 
embryo  soon  after  birth  by  its  breathing  and  crying. 

We  may,  therefore,  say  that  infancy,  especially  early  infancy, 
is  only  a  continuation  of  embryonic  life.  The  transformations 
which  the  infant  undergoes  from  birth  to  adult  age  are  knowTi 
to  all.  They  take  place  more  and  more  slowly,  except  at  the 
relatively  short  period  of  puberty. 

Formation  of  the  sexual  glands. — We  must  remember  that  at 
a  very  early  embryonic  period  certain  groups  of  cells  are  reserved 
to  form  later  on  the  sexual  glands.  These  cells  are  at  first 
neither  male  nor  female,  but  are  undifferentiated;  later  on  they 
become  differentiated  to  form  in  certain  individuals,  called 
males,  the  testicles  with  their  spermatozoa,  and  in  others,  called 
females,  the  ovaries  with  their  eggs.  On  this  differentiation  de- 
pends the  sex  of  the  individual,  and,  according  as  it  takes  place 
in  one  way  or  the  other,  all  the  rest  of  the  body  develops  with 
the  correlative  sexual  characters  of  the  corresponding  sex  (at 
first  the  external  genital  organs  peculiar  to  each  sex,  then  the 
beard  in  man,  the  breasts  in  woman,  etc). 

Castration.  Correlative  sexual  characters. — Castration  is  the 
term  applied  to  the  extirpation  of  the  sexual  glands.  When  it 
takes  place  in  infancy  it  causes  a  considerable  change  in  the 
whole  subsequent  development  of  the  body,  especially  in  man, 
but  also  in  woman.  Man  becomes  more  slender,  preserves  a 
high  and  infantile  voice,  and  his  sexual  correlative  characters 
develop  incompletely  or  not  at  all.  Eunuchs  are  men  castrated, 
usually  in  infancy.  To  ensure  more  safety  in  their  harems  the 
Orientals  not  only  remove  the  testicles  but  also  the  penis.  Bul- 
locks and  horses  are  bulls  and  stallions  castrated  at  an  early  age, 
and  can  be  distinguished  at  first  sight  from  normal  males.  Fe- 
males who  have  undergone  castration  become  fat  and  sometimes 
take  on  certain  masculine  characters.  Male  human  eunuchs  have 
a  high-pitched  voice,  a  narrow  chest ;  they  remain  beardless  or 
nearly  so,  and  have  an  effeminate  character,  often  intriguing.  In 
both  sexes  there  is  a  tendency  to  neurosis  and  degeneration.  It  is 
a  mistake  to  qualify  the  peculiarities  of  the  male  eunuch  in  the 
terms  of  female  peculiarities;  there  is  only  a  relative  tendency. 
The  eunuch  is  no  more  a  woman  than  a  bullock  is  a  cow. 


26  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  characters  of  castrated  individuals  are  due  only  to  abla- 
tion of  the  sexual  glands  themselves— the  testicles  in  man  and 
the  ovary  in  woman;  mutilation  of  other  sexual  organs,  internal 
or  external,  such  as  the  penis,  womb,  etc.,  produces  no  result 
of  this  kind.  It  would  even  appear  to  result  from  recent  experi- 
ments that  reimplantation  of  a  sexual  gland  in  any  part  of  the 
body  is  sufficient  to  arrest  the  production  of  the  special  pecu- 
liarities of  the  eunuch. 

All  these  facts,  almost  inexplicable  hitherto,  become  compre- 
hensible by  the  aid  of  the  engraphia  of  the  mnemic  energies. 
(Vide  above;  Semon).  The  sexual  glands,  being  of  undiffer- 
entiated origin,  contain  the  energies  of  both  sexes.  The  ecphoria 
of  one  of  them  provokes  that  of  its  correlative  characters  and 
excludes  that  of  the  characters  of  the  other.  If  ecphoria  of  the 
sexual  glands  is  arrested  by  castration  before  it  is  finished,  this 
paralyzes  the  predominance  of  that  of  its  corresponding  cor- 
relative characters  and  reestablishes  a  kind  of  intermediate  or 
undifferentiated  equilibrium  between  the  ecphorias  of  the  cor- 
relative hereditary  sexual  characters  of  the  two  sexes. 

On  the  other  hand,  if  the  sexual  glands  of  an  adult  are  re- 
moved, his  body  is  not  sensibly  modified.  The  sexual  functions 
do  not  cease  completely,  although  they  cannot  lead  to  fecunda- 
tion. Men  castrated  in  adult  age  may  cohabit  with  their  wives; 
but  the  liquid  ejaculated  is  not  semen  but  only  secretion  from 
the  accessory  prostatic  gland.  Adult  women  after  castration 
preserve  their  sexual  appetite,  and  sometimes  even  their  men- 
struation, for  a  certain  time.  They  generally  become  fat  and 
often  suffer  from  nervous  troubles  and  change  in  character. 
The  ecphoria  of  the  correlative  sexual  characters  being  complete 
in  the  adult,  suppression  of  the  sexual  glands  can  only  act  on 
their  direct  functions. 

In  different  species  of  animals,  the  correlative  sexual  charac- 
ters of  which  we  have  spoken  vary  enormously;  sometimes  the 
differences  are  insignificant,  at  other  times  they  are  considera- 
ble; while  we  can  hardly  distinguish  a  male  swallow  from  a 
female,  the  cock  and  hen,  the  peacock  and  peahen,  the  stag  and 
hind  are  very  different  from  each  other.  In  man,  the  correla- 
tive sexual  characters  are  very  distinct,  even  externally.     These 


THE  REPRODUCTION  OF  LIVING  BEINGS  27 

characters  may  extend  to  all  parts  of  the  body,  even  to  the 
brain  and  mental  faculties. 

In  some  of  the  lower  animals,  for  example  the  ants,  the  sexes 
differ  remarkably  from  each  other  and  appear  to  belong  to 
different  zoological  families.  The  eyes,  the  form  of  the  head, 
the  color,  and  the  whole  body  differ  so  much  that,  when  a  case 
of  pathological  lateral  hermaplirodism  is  produced  (that  is, 
when  the  sexual  glands  are  male  on  the  one  side  and  female  on 
the  other),  we  can  exactly  determine  the  male  or  female  char- 
acter on  each  portion  of  the  body.  We  thus  see  hermaphrodite 
ants  with  one  half  of  the  body  male  and  the  other  half  female — 
black  on  one  side  and  red  on  the  other,  a  large  eye  on  one  side 
and  a  small  eye  on  the  other,  thirteen  joints  in  one  antenna 
and  twelve  in  the  other,  and  so  on.  In  this  case  the  mental 
faculties  are  sometimes  female,  sometimes  male,  according  as 
the  ecphoria  of  the  brain  is  influenced  by  the  hereditary  mneme 
of  the  male  or  female  part  of  the  hermaphrodite  sexual  organs, 
which  results  in  a  male  or  female  brain.  I  have  seen  hermaph- 
rodite ants  in  which  two  parts  of  the  thorax  formed  a  crossed 
hermaphrodism;  in  front,  male  on  the  right  and  female  on  the 
left,  behind  female  on  the  right  and  male  on  the  left.  Further; 
among  ants  which  live  in  societies,  the  progressive  transforma- 
tion of  the  species,  or  phylogeny,  has  produced  a  third  sex 
derived  from  the  female  sex — the  worker;  sometimes  there  is 
even  a  fourth — the  warrior.  In  these  two  forms  the  wings  are 
absent,  but  the  head  and  brain  are  much  larger;  the  sexual 
organs  remain  female,  but  are  very  small.  While  the  large 
brain  (pedunculated  bodies  of  the  supra-esophageal  ganglion) 
is  almost  rudimentary  in  the  male,  it  is  well  developed  in  the 
female  and  very  large  in  the  worker  and  the  warrior.  Among 
these  singular  animals  exist  pathological  hermaphrodites,  not 
only  between  males  and  females,  but  between  males  and  work- 
ers, and  not  only  lateral  but  mixed  and  crossed  in  all  possible 
ways.  I  have  seen  a  hermaphrodite,  whose  abdomen  and  sexual 
organs  were  almost  entirely  male,  accomplish  all  the  complex 
instinctive  actions  of  a  worker  of  his  species  (expeditions,  at- 
tacks on  a  hostile  ant  heap,  abduction  of  chrysalids),  thanks  to 
its  head  and  brain  which  were  of  the  worker  type.     The  female 


28  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

itself  is  incapable  of  such  complex  actions.  I  cite  these  facts 
here  as  material  for  study,  for  we  are  only  too  prone  in  this 
domain  to  generalize  prematurely  and  to  draw  too  hasty  con- 
clusions. In  reality,  there  is  still  a  wide  field  for  study  of  the 
greatest  interest. 

There  are  animals  which  are  normally  and  physiologically 
hermaphrodite,  for  they  possess  in  the  normal  state  male  and 
female  sexual  glands  and  fecundate  thernselves,  such  as  the 
solitary  worms,  or  in  pairs  such  as  the  snails.  In  the  latter 
case  there  is  copulation,  during  which  each  animal  plays  the 
parts  of  both  male  and  female. 

In  man  and  other  vertebrates,  hermaphrodism  is  always 
abnormal.  In  man  it  is  extremely  rare  and  nearly  always  very 
incomplete,  being  usually  limited  to  the  external  or  correlative 
characters. 

Heredity. — It  results  from  what  we  have  said  that  every 
living  being  reproduces,  more  or  less  identically,  in  its  specific 
characters,  the  whole  life  of  its  parents  and  less  remote  ances- 
tors, and  constitutes  the  continuation  of  life  from  a  minute  part 
of  their  bodies. 

Each  individual  life  thus  repeats  an  entire  cycle  of  develop- 
ment called  ontogeny,  which  is  peculiar  to  all  individuals  of  the 
species.     Here  we  must  mention  three  fundamental  points: 

(1).  In  its  principal  characters,  each  individual  is  the  copy  of 
its  parents  or  direct  ancestors,  with  correlative  sexual  pecu- 
liarities which  we  have  mentioned,  and  with  individual  varia- 
tions due  to  the  combinations  of  varieties  by  conjugation,  and 
the  alternating  or  unequal  ecphorias  of  hereditary  characters; 
that  is  to  say  paternal  or  maternal  hereditary  engrams. 

(2).  No  individual  is  absolutely  identical  with  another. 

(3).  On  the  average,  each  individual  resembles  more  especially 
its  direct  ancestry  and  its  parents,  and  differs  more  markedly 
from  its  parentage  the  more  this  is  remote. 

We  shall  see  later  on  that  the  ancestral  relationship  of  the 
different  groups,  species  and  varieties  of  animals  has  been  fairly 
well  fixed,  and  we  may  say  that  the  third  of  the  laws  stated 
above  is  equally  true  in  a  wider  sense.  In  fact  the  species  and 
varieties  of  animals  which  are  near  related  resemble  each  other. 


THE  REPRODUCTION  OF  LIVING  BEINGS  29 

while  the  genera,  families  and  classes  are  more  dissimilar  as  their 
relationship  is  more  remote.  We  employ  here  the  terms  re- 
semblance, homology  and  difference  in  their  profound  and  gen- 
eral sense.  Certain  pm-ely  external  resemblances,  due  to  phe- 
nomena of  convergence,  must  not  be  considered  as  homologies  in 
the  sense  of  hereditary  relationsliip.  Thus,  in  the  language  of 
natural  liistory  we  do  not  say  that  a  bat  resembles  a  bird,  nor 
that  a  whale  resembles  a  fish,  for  here  the  resemblances  are  due 
simply  to  aerial  or  aquatic  life  which  produces  the  effects  of 
convergence,  while  the  internal  structure  shows  them  to  be 
quite  dissimilar  organisms.  Although  it  swims  in  the  sea  the 
whale  is  a  mammal;  its  fins  at  first  sight  resemble  those  of  a 
fish,  but  they  are  really  the  homologues  of  the  four  limbs  of 
other  mammals  and  contain  the  corresponding  bones. 

In  man,  we  see  that  brothers  and  sisters  resemble  each  other 
in  a  general  way,  but  that  each  one  is  dissimilar  in  some  respects 
from  the  others.  If  we  compare  different  families  with  many 
children  we  find  that  brothers  and  sisters  resemble  each  other 
the  more  their  parents  are  alike  and  come  from  a  uniform 
ancestry  which  has  undergone  little  crossing,  while  the  crossing 
of  different  races  and  human  varieties  results  in  the  production 
of  individuals  which  differ  from  each  other  considerably,  even 
when  they  come  from  the  same  couple. 

If  we  examine  things  more  closely,  we  find  that  the  characters 
of  each  of  the  offspring  of  the  same  couple  present  neither  simple 
repetition  nor  an  equal  mixture  of  the  peculiarities  of  the  parents, 
but  very  diverse  combinations  of  the  characters  of  several  an- 
cestors. For  instance,  children  may  bear  a  striking  resemblance 
to  a  paternal  grandfather,  a  maternal  grand-aunt,  or  a  maternal 
great-grandmother,  etc.  This  is  called  atavism.  Some  chil- 
dren resemble  then-  father,  others  their  mother,  and  others  a 
kind  of  mixture  of  father  and  mother. 

A  closer  examination  reveals  further  very  curious  facts.  An 
infant  which,  in  its  early  years,  strongly  resembles  its  father, 
may  later  on  resemble  its  mother,  or  inversely.  Certain  pecu- 
liarities of  a  certain  ancestor  appear  suddenly,  often  at  an  ad- 
vanced age.  It  is  needless  to  say  that  peculiarities  concerning 
the  beard  cannot  appear  till  this  has  gro^\'n,  and  this  simple 


30  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

fact  is  so  characteristic  that  it  has  been  called  hereditary  dispo-  ; 
sition.  Everything  may  be  transmitted  by  heredity,  even  to 
the  finest  shades  of  sentiment,  intelligence  and  will,  even  to  . 
the  most  insignificant  details  of  the  nails,  the  form  of  the  bones, 
etc.  But  the  combinations  of  ancestral  qualities  vary  so  infi- 
nitely that  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  recognize  them.  Hered- 
itary dispositions  arise  from  the  energy  of  two  conjugated  germs 
during  the  whole  of  life  "and  tUl  death.  Old  people  sometimes 
develop  peculiarities  hitherto  unknown  in  them,  omng  to  the 
fact  that  one  or  more  of  then-  ancestors  also  presented  the  same 
phenomena  at  an  advanced  age. 

Senion  has  clearly  proved  that,  although  forming  an  infinite 
number  of  combinations  the  engrams  or  hereditary  energies 
never  blend  in  the  proper  sense  of  the  term,  and  in  the  light  of 
his  exposition  the  above  facts  are  more  clearly  explained  than 
they  had  been  hitherto.  The  experiments  of  Mendel  have  showTi 
in  plants  a  certain  alteration  in  the  hereditary  ecphorias  of  the 
products  of  dissimilar  parents. 

Certain  parental  characters,  according  as  they  are  added  or 
subtracted,  may  disappear  during  one  or  two  generations,  to 
reappear  all  the  more  strongly  in  the  following  generations.  In 
short,  there  are  a  number  of  phenomena,  the  laws  of  which  may 
be  more  clearly  explained  to  us  in  the  future.  m 

To  sum  up,  each  individual  inherits  on  the  average  as  much 
from  his  paternal  as  from  his  maternal  side,  although  the  minute 
nucleus  of  the  spermatozoid  is  the  only  agent  concerned  on  the 
paternal  side,  while  the  mother  provides  not  only  the  egg  which 
is  much  larger,  but  also  nutrition  during  the  nine  months  of 
embryonic  life.  We  can  only  conclude  that  in  the  egg  also  it  is 
only  from  the  part  of  the  nucleus  which  conjugates  with  the 
male  nucleus  that  arise  all  the  inherited  maternal  peculiarities; 
that  all  the  rest  is  only  utilized  as  food;  and  that  the  nutritive 
blood  of  the  mother  in  no  way  influences  the  inherited  energies 
of  the  offspring. 

This  shows  the  capital  importance  of  conjugation  and  of  the 
substance  of  the  conjugated  nuclei,  especially  of  their  chromatin. 
The  fact  that,  in  certain  of  the  lower  animals,  the  protoplasm  of 
the  egg  without  nuclei  may  occasionally  produce  some  phenom- 


!  THE   REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING   BEINGS  31 

3na  of  cell  division,  thanks  to  its  inherited  mnemic  engrams,  in 
10  way  alters  the  fundamental  principle  which  alone  occurs  in 
|3ian,  for  this  vicarious  action,  which  is  moreover  rudimentary, 
Dnly  happens  when  the  protoplasm  of  the  egg  is  not  consumed 
by  the  conjugated  nuclei. 

Parthenogenesis  is  also  a  very  interesting  phenomenon  in  the 
tiistory  of  our  animal  ancestors,  but  for  the  same  reasons  it  has 
QO  direct  interest  for  humanity. 

If  we  take  into  consideration  all  the  observations  of  which 
we  have  just  spoken,  which  are  as  simple  as  they  are  irrefutably 
demonstrated,  it  is  hardly  possible  to  interpret  them  in  any 
other  way  than  by  the  following  hypothesis : 

In  each  sexual  gland,  male  or  female,  the  germinal  cells  which 
are  produced  by  division  of  the  cells  of  the  embryo,  reserved 
primarily  for  reproduction,  differ  considerably  from  each  other 
in  quality  and  contain  in  their  infinitely  small  atoms  very  di- 
verse and  irregularly  distributed  energies,  inherited  from  their 
different  ancestors.  Some  contain  more  paternal  and  others 
more  maternal  energy,  and  among  the  former  there  are  some 
contain,  for  example,  more  paternal  grandfather  and  others 
more  maternal  grandmother,  and  so  on  to  infinity,  till  it  is 
impossible  to  discover  the  ancestral  origin  of  the  fully  grown 
individual  we  are  examining.  The  same  holds  good  for  the 
energies  of  the  maternal  cells. 

At  the  time  of  conjugation,  the  qualities  of  the  child  which 
will  result  from  it  depend  therefore  on  conditions  of  the  ances- 
tral qualities  of  the  conjugated  egg  and  spermatozoon.  More- 
over, although  of  the  same  size,  the  nuclei  which  become  conju- 
gated are  evidently  of  unequal  strength;  the  energies  of  one  or 
the  other  predominate  later  on  in  the  embryo,  and  still  later  in 
man.  According  to  circumstances  the  latter  will  resemble 
more  or  less  his  paternal  or  maternal  progenitors. 

Moreover,  the  different  organs  of  the  body  may  receive  their 
energies  from  different  parts  of  the  conjugated  nuclei  in  different 
degrees.  A  person  may  have  his  father's  nose  and  his  mother's 
eyes,  the  paternal  grandmother's  humor  and  the  maternal 
grandfather's  intelligence,  and  all  this  with  infinite  degrees  and 
variations,  for  it  is  only  a  matter  of  more  or  less  accentuated 


32  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

averages.  In  my  own  face  the  two  halves  are  distinctly  differ- 
ent, one  resembling  my  maternal  ancestry  and  the  other,  in  a 
lesser  degree,  my  paternal  ancestry,  these  points  being  seen 
distinctly  in  photographs  taken  in  profile. 

Each  germinal  cell  contains  the  hereditary  mneme  of  its  an- 
cestors, paternal  and  maternal,  and  the  two  cells  united  by  con- 
jugation (Fig.  17)  that  of  the  ancestors  of  each  of  them.  We 
have  spoken  above  of  ecphorias  produced, according  to  MendeVs 
law  and  reproducing  characters  which  have  been  latent  during 
one  or  two  generations.  Darwin  was  the  first  to  study  this  inter-  . 
esting  fact,  which  shows  how  atavism  often  results  from  the  cross- ' 
ing  of  varieties.  There  are  several  varieties  of  fowls  which  do 
not  brood;  if  two  of  these  varieties,  b  and  c,  are  crossed  excellent 
brooders  are  obtained.  Semon  assumes  that  in  each  of  the  non- 
brooding  varieties  the  ancestral  energy,  a,  of  the  primary  spe- 
cies, is  weaker  than  that  of  varieties  b  and  c;  we  have  then 
o  >  6,  and  a<:c.  But  if  b  is  coupled  with  a  the  product  repre- 
sents the  value  b  +  c  +  a  +  a.  Then  b  and  c  are  in  equilibrium; 
and  a  being  doubled  becomes  stronger  than  each  of  them  and 
arrives  at  ecphoria  in  their  place,  which  restores  the  faculty  of 
brooding  to  the  product  of  crossing. 

De  Vries  has  shown,  in  the  crossing  of  varieties  with  their 
primary  species,  more  or  less  analogous  phenomena  which  he 
calls  "  Vicino-variations."  Conjugation  leads  to  infinite  com- 
binations and  variations  which  the  law  of  heredity  traverses 
like  a  guiding  line. 

The  celebrated  zo51ogist,  Weisjnann,  considers  that  the  chro- 
matin of  each  germinal  cell  contains  a  considerable  quantity  of 
particles  each  of  which  is  capable  of  forming  an  entire  organism 
similar  to  the  parents;  these  he  calls  "ides."  According  to 
Weismann,  each  ide  is  subdivided  into  "determinants"  from 
which  each  part  of  the  body  is  derived,  being  potentially  prede- 
termined in  them.  According  to  the  action  of  a  yet  unknown 
irritation  male  or  female  determinants  develop  in  each  individ- 
ual of  the  animal  species  with  separate  sexes.  But  if  the  deter- 
minants are  disordered,  either  by  abnormal  variations  or  by 
pathological  causes,  hermaphrodites  or  monstrosities  may  be 
produced.   In  animals  which  are  normally  hermaphrodite  (snails. 


THE   REPRODUCTION   OF   LIVING    BEINGS  33 

etc.),  there  is  only  one  kind  of  sexual  determinant,  while  in 
polymorphous  animals  (ants,  etc.),  there  are  as  many  as  the 
polymorphous  forms.  The  conception  of  "ides"  and  "determi- 
nants" is  only  a  hypothesis  to  which  we  must  not  attach  much 
value.  The  innemic  laws  established  by  Semon  give  a  much 
better  explanation  of  the  facts. 

It  has  often  been  maintained  that  the  qualities  of  higher  forms 
of  man  are  exliausted  in  a  few  generations,  while  the  mass  of 
mediocrities  continually  produce  new  genius.  The  fact  that 
the  descendants  of  distinguished  men  are  often  mediocre  and 
that  remarkable  men  suddenly  arise  from  the  common  people, 
appears  at  first  sight  to  support  this  superficial  assertion.  It  is 
forgotten,  however,  that  in  a  people  whose  average  mass  con- 
sists of  thousands  or  millions  of  individuals,  while  men  of  higher 
powers  are  only  counted  by  units  or  dozens,  aU  this  arithmetic 
is  reduced  to  absurdity  by  the  inequality  of  numbers,  as  soon 
as  the  law  of  heredity  is  understood.  To  make  a  more  exact 
calculation,  it  would  be  necessary  to  compare  the  number  of 
superior  men  who  have  arisen  from  some  hundreds  of  the  most 
distinguished  families  of  a  country  mth  that  of  distinguished 
men  who  have  arisen  from  some  millions  of  the  rest  of  the  people, 
and  then  calculate  the  percentage.  It  is  also  necessary  to  take 
into  account  the  means  employed  in  the  education  of  the  indi- 
viduals. If  education  is  obligatoiy  and  gratuitous  in  a  country, 
this  factor  will  have  less  importance. 

Another  error  which  is  committed  in  such  cases  is  to  neglect 
the  influence  of  the  maternal  lineage.  A  common  woman  will 
lower  the  level  of  the  offspring  of  a  distinguished  husband,  and 
inversely.  In  his  "History  of  Science  and  Scientists"  Alphonse 
de  Candolle  has  given  irrefutable  proof  that  the  posterity  of 
high-class  men  furnishes  a  great  number  proportionally  of  men 
high  class  in  their  turn,  compared  with  that  of  the  average  popu- 
lation. This  shows  the  value  of  the  usual  twaddle  concerning 
this  question.  It  is  inconceivable  that  the  laws  of  heredity 
should  make  an  exception  of  the  mental  qualities  of  man.  More- 
over, the  most  deceptive  point  is  the  contrast  of  a  man  of  genius 
with  his  children,  who  do  not  rise  to  his  standard  because  they 
represent  a  combination  of  his  ancestral  energies  with  those  of 


34  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

their  mother.  This  contrast  makes  the  children  appear  imf  avor- 
ably,  while  the  public  has  a  general  tendency  to  exaggerate  the 
value  of  a  great  man. 

The  theoiy  of  the  mneme  throws  light  on  this  subject,  by  intro- 
ducing a  new  factor  in  the  question,  that  of  ecphoria  of  the  cere- 
bral engrams  of  the  ancestors,  accumulated  in  the  hereditary 
mneme. 

Heredity  of  Acquired  Characters. — While  Darwin  and  Haeckel 
affirmed  the  possibility  of  the  heredity  of  characters  acquired 
during  life  by  different  tissues,  for  instance  the  brain,  Weisjnann 
limits  the  possibility  to  everything  that  can  modify  the  nucleo- 
plasm of  the  germinal  cells.  We  must  first  eliminate  the  ques- 
tion of  the  phenomena  of  blastophthoria,  which  we  shall  consider 
next,  and  which  Weisnmnn  was,  I  think,  the  first  to  compre- 
hend, without  giving  them  the  name. 

On  one  hand  we  see  the  singular  effects  of  castration,  which 
we  have  already  considered;  on  the  other  hand,  an  extraordi- 
nary constancy  in  the  hereditary  characters  of  the  species.  For 
more  than  three  thousand  six  hundred  years,  which  corresponds 
to  about  eight  hundred  generations,  the  Jews  have  been  circum- 
cised. Nevertheless,  if  a  Jew  ceases  to  circumcise  his  offspring 
the  prepuce  of  his  children  grows  as  it  did  three  thousand  six 
hundred  years  ago,  although,  during  the  eight  hundred  genera- 
tions in  question,  its  absence  from  birth  has  prevented  it  react- 
ing on  the  germinal  cells  of  the  individuals.  If  the  engraphia 
of  the  external  world  could  sensibly  modify  in  a  few  generations 
the  hereditary  mneme  of  the  species,  it  appears  evident  that 
the  Jewish  infants  of  the  present  day  would  be  born  without 
prepuce,  or  at  least  with  an  atrophied  one. 

It  is  on  such  facts,  which  are  innumerable  in  natural  history, 
that  Weis?nann  relies  to  repudiate  absolutely  the  heredity  of 
characters  acquired  by  non-germinal  organs  and  to  attribute 
the  development  of  organisms  to  blends  and  combinations  due 
to  conjugation,  or  crossing,  as  well  as  to  natural  selection,  which 
he  regards  as  all-powerful.  Darwin  well  recognized  the  diffi- 
culty in  question,  and  being  unable  to  explain  the  facts,  had 
recourse  to  the  hypothesis  of  pangenesis,  that  is  of  small  parti- 
cles detached  from  all  parts  of  the  body  and  transported  by  the 


THE   REPRODUCTION   OF    LIVING    BEINGS  35 

blood  to  the  germinal  cells,  to  transmit  to  them,  for  example, 
the  qualities  acquired  by  the  brain  during  life.  This  hypothesis 
was  so  improbable  that  Darwin  himself  was  forced  to  recognize 
it.     Let  us  examine  the  facts. 

On  the  one  hand  a  newly  born  Chinese  transported  and 
brought  up  in  France  will  learn  French,  and  will  show  no  incli- 
nation to  learn  or  understand  Chinese.  This  well-established 
fact  seems  in  favor  of  Weismann  and  against  the  heredity  of 
acquired  characters.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  we  cannot  under- 
stand how  the  evolution  of  the  brain  and  its  functions  takes 
place,  without  admitting  that  in  one  way  or  another  the  charac- 
ters acquired  liy  habits  repeated  during  many  generations  grad- 
ually accumulate  in  the  form  of  hereditary  dispositions  in  the 
germinal  protoplasm.  It  is  certain  that  our  brain  has  progressed 
since  the  time  when  our  ancestors  were  similar  to  the  gorilla,  or 
even  the  cave  man  at  the  beginning  of  the  quaternary  age. 
How  can  this  cerebral  progression  be  explained  only  by  selection 
which  can  only  eliminate,  and  by  crossings  which  by  themselves 
can  hardly  raise  the  average?  It  is  here  that  the  intervention 
of  an  unknown  power  is  necessaiy,  something  unexplained,  the 
action  of  which  has  been  lately  recorded  in  the  phenomena  of 
mutations  of  de  Vries. 

De  Vries  proves  that  certain  variations  appear  suddenly  and 
without  any  known  cause,  and  have  a  much  greater  tendency 
to  be  preserved  than  the  variations  obtained  by  crossing  and 
selection.  In  my  opinion  the  phenomena  of  the  mneme  revealed 
by  Hering  and  Semon  explain  the  apparent  contradictions  which 
have  hitherto  impaired  the  theories  of  heredity.  Mnemic  en- 
graphy  explains,  by  its  infinitesimal  and  repeated  action  through 
numerous  generations,  how  the  external  world  may  little  by 
little  transmit  to  the  germinal  cells  the  characters  which  it  im- 
presses on  organisms.  The  eight  hundred  generations  during 
which  the  prepuce  of  the  Jews  has  been  cut  off  have  not  yet 
sufficed  for  the  ecphoria  of  the  corresponding  negative  mnemic 
engraphia;  while  conjugation  and  selection  modify  rapidly  and 
strongly  in  a  few  generations;  a  fact  which  is  more  striking  and 
allows  of  direct  experiment.  Moreover,  a  positive  engraphia 
must  necessarily  act  more  powerfully,  and  it  seems  to  me  that 


36  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

mutations  must  be  the  ecphoria  of  accumulated  former  latent 
engraphias. 

Merrifield  and  Standfuss,  by  exposing  caterpillars  and  chrysa-  X 
lids  for  varying  periods  to  considerable  degrees  of  cold  and  heat, 
have  determined  permanent  changes  in  the  specific  characters 
of  the  butterflies  which  have  emerged  from  them. 

Standfuss  and  Fischer  have  also  shown  that,  after  several 
generations,  by  continuing  the  action  of  cold  on  the  caterpillars, 
the  variations  thus  produced  can  be  preserved  even  after  the 
cold  has  ceased  to  act.  No  doubt  the  cold  acts  on  the  germinal 
cells  as  on  the  rest  of  the  body,  but  the  heredity  of  an  acquired 
character  is  thus  demonstrated. 

The  experiments  of  Miss  de  Chauvin  on  salamanders  (Axolotl) 
are  still  more  conclusive,  for  we  are  dealing  here  with  characters 
acquired  through  aquatic  or  aerial  media,  which  can  hardly  act 
on  the  sexual  glands.  We  cannot  continue  this  subject  any 
further  and  we  return  to  the  work  of  Sevion.  It  is  needless  to 
say  that  the  nature  of  mnemic  engraphia  remains  itself  an  un- 
known quantity.  As  long  as  we  are  unable  to  transform  inert 
matter  into  a  living  organism  we  shall  remain  in  ignorance. 
But,  when  it  is  accepted  with  the  laws  of  the  phenomena  which 
it  produces,  this  unknown  quantity,  as  Semon  has  shown,  alone 
suffices  to  explain  all  the  rest,  and  is  already  a  great  step  toward 
the  comprehension  of  the  laws  which  govern  life. 

Blastophthoria. — By  blastophthoria,  or  deterioration  of  the 
germ,  I  mean  what  might  also  be  called  false  heredity,  that  is  to 
say,  the  results  of  all  direct  pathogenic  or  disturbing  action, 
especially  that  of  certain  intoxications,  on  the  germinal  cells, 
whose  hereditary  determinants  are  thus  changed,  Blastoph- 
thoria thus  acts  on  germs  not  yet  conjugated,  through  the  medium 
of  their  bearers,  and  creates  at  their  origin  hereditary  stigmata  of 
all  kinds,  while  true  heredity  only  combines  and  reproduces  the 
ancestral  energies. 

Blastophthoria  deranges  the  mneme  or  hereditary  engrams, 
and  consequently  a  more  or  less  considerable  part  of  their 
ecphorias  during  the  life  of  the  individuals  which  arise  from  them. 
It  is  not  a  question  here  of  the  reproduction  of  the  hereditary 
ancestral  energies  in  the  descendants  (in  different  combinations) 


THE  REPRODUCTION  OF   LIVING  BEINGS  37 

as  is  the  case  in  the  heredity  which  we  have  just  studied,  but, 
on  the  contrary,  a  question  of  their  perturbation.  However, 
the  store  of  cells  reserved  as  germinal  cells  in  the  embryo,  the 
germ  of  which  has  been  damaged  by  blastophthoric  action,  being 
usually  also  affected  by  the  disturbing  cause,  it  follows  that  the 
pathological  change  introduced  by  blastophthoria  in  the  hered- 
itary mneme  is  transmitted  to  the  descendants  by  ordinary 
heredity.  In  this  way  blastophthoria  deposits  the  first  germ 
of  most  pathological  degenerations  by  causing  immediate  devi- 
ation of  all  the  determinants  of  the  germ  in  the  same  direction. 

The  most  typical  and  the  commonest  example  of  blastoph- 
thoria is  that  of  alcoholic  intoxication.  The  spermatozoa  of 
alcoholics  suffer  like  the  other  tissues  from  the  toxic  action  of 
alcohol  on  the  protoplasm.  The  result  of  this  intoxication  of 
the  germs  may  be  that  the  children  resulting  from  their  conju- 
gation become  idiots,  epileptics,  dwarfs  or  feeble  minded.  Thus 
it  is  not  alcoholism  or  the  craving  for  drink  which  is  inherited. 
No  doubt  the  peculiarity  of  badly  supporting  alcohol  is  inherited 
by  ordinary  heredity  as  a  hereditary  disposition,  but  it  is  not 
this  which  produces  the  alcoholic  degenerations  of  the  race. 
These  are  the  result  of  the  single  blastophthoria.  When,  on  the 
other  hand,  a  man  is  found  to  be  imbecile  or  epileptic  as  the 
result  of  the  insobriety  of  his  father,  he  preserves  the  tendency 
to  transmit  his  mental  weakness  or  his  epilepsy  to  his  descend- 
ants, even  when  he  abstains  completely  from  alcoholic  drinks. 
In  fact,  the  chromosomes  of  the  spermatozoid,  from  which  about 
a  half  of  his  organism  has  issued,  have  preserved  the  pathologi- 
cal derangement  produced  by  the  parental  alcoholism  in  their 
hereditary  mneme,  and  have  transmitted  it  to  the  store  of  ger- 
minal cells  of  the  feeble  minded  or  the  epileptic,  who  in  his  turn 
transmits  it  to  his  descendants.  From  Weismann's  point  of 
view  his  hereditary  determinants  remain  pathologically  deviated. 
All  intoxications  which  alter  the  protoplasm  of  the  germinal 
cells  may  produce  blastophthoric  degenerations,  which  continue 
to  menace  several  successive  generations  in  the  form  of  hered- 
itary taints. 

Other  deviations  in  the  development  of  the  germs  may  act 
in  an  analogous  manner  to  blastophthoria.    We  have  mentioned 


38  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

above  the  experiments  of  Merrifield  and  Standfuss  on  the  cater- 
pillars of  certain  butterflies.  Without  being  really  of  a  patho- 
logical nature,  these  actions  of  a  physical  agent  on  the  hereditary 
energies  resemble  blastophthoria. 

Mechanical  action  on  the  embryo  may  also  give  rise  to  patho- 
logical products  or  even  mutilation.  Thus,  Weismann  demon- 
strated the  production  of  degenerate  individuals  in  ants  when 
certain  coleoptera  were  introduced  in  their  negt,  the  ants  being 
fond  of  the  secretion  of  the  large  glandular  hairs  of  the  coleop- 
tera. The  exact  cause  of  the  degeneration  has  not  yet  been 
found,  but  the  fact  is  certain.  In  man,  certain  constitutional 
affections  and  congenital  anomalies  are  the  result  of  certain  dis- 
eases in  the  procreators,  which  have  affected  the  germinal  cells 
or  the  embryo  (for  instance  syphilis).  As  soon  as  the  blastoph- 
thoric  actions  cease  in  the  procreators,  those  of  their  descendants 
who  live  under  a  normal  regimen  have  evidently  a  tendency  to 
eliminate  the  blastophthoric  organs  at  the  end  of  several  gener- 
ations and  to  regenerate  themselves  little  by  little.  Thanks  to 
the  power  of  the  ancestral  mneme  which  tends  to  reestablish 
homophony.  However,  the  data  on  this  subject  are  insufficient. 
In  this  case  homophony  is  represented  by  the  normal  equilib- 
rium of  the  different  typical  or  normal  characters  of  the  species. 


CHAPTER   II 

EVOLUTION   OR   DESCENT    OF    LIVING    ORGANISMS 

The  theory  of  evolution  is  intimately  associated  with  the  name 
of  Darwin,  for  it  was  he  who  established  it  in  the  scientific 
world.  In  reality,  the  idea  of  the  transformation  of  organisms 
was  put  forward  by  Lamarck  more  than  a  century  ago,  but  he 
did  not  sufficiently  support  it.  The  theory  of  evolution  states 
that  the  different  animal  and  vegetable  species  are  not  each  of 
them  specially  created  as  such  from  the  first,  but  that  they  are 
connected  with  each  other  by  a  real  and  profound  relationship, 
and  derived  progressively  one  from  another;  generally  from 
more  simple  forms,  by  engraphia  and  selection.  Man  himself  is 
no  exception  to  this  rule,  for  he  is  closely  related  to  the  higher 
apes. 

It  is  no  longer  possible  to-day  to  deny  the  fundamental  fact 
which  we  have  just  stated.  Since  Darwin,  and  as  the  result  of 
the  powerful  impulse  which  this  man  of  genius  gave  to  natural 
science,  innumerable  observations  and  experiments  have  con- 
firmed the  truth  of  the  progressive  evolution  of  living  beings. 
Comparative  anatomy,  comparative  geography  of  plants  and 
animals,  comparative  embryolog}^,  and  the  study  of  the  mor- 
phology and  biology  of  a  number  of  recently  discovered  plants 
and  animals,  have  built  up  more  and  more  the  genealogical  tree, 
or  phylogeny,  of  living  beings,  that  is  to  say  their  ancestral 
lineage.  The  number  of  varieties  and  races  or  sub-species 
increases  indefinitely,  the  more  closely  they  are  examined. 

Researches  on  the  fossil  remains  of  species  of  animals  and 
plants  which  have  been  extinct  for  thousands  and  millions  of 
years  (palceontology)  have  also  contributed  to  determine  the 
trunk  of  the  great  tree  of  former  life.  The  numerous  gaps 
which   still   exist   between   these   fragmentary   documents   of 

39 


40  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

former  ages  are  nevertheless  too  considerable  for  continuous 
connections  to  be  established  in  the  past  by  the  aid  of  fossils. 

We  not  only  know  that  the  different  forms  of  living  beings 
are  connected  to  each  other  by  a  real  relationship,  but  we  can 
fathom  more  and  more  deeply  the  degrees  of  tliis  relationship, 
and  can  often  prove  from  which  group  of  animals  a  given  group 
is  descended.  In  many  cases  we  can  determine  at  which  period 
the  fauna  and  flora  of  two  continents  have  been  separated  from 
each  other,  and  in  what  manner  they  have  been  transformed, 
each  in  its  ovm  way,  while  still  preserving  the  general  characters 
which  were  common  before  their  separation.  The  specialist  can 
soon  discover  what  species  belong  to  the  old  geographically  differ- 
entiated fauna  and  flora  of  the  country,  and  what  have  been 
ulteriorily  imported. 

I  record  these  facts  for  the  benefit  of  those  persons  who  have 
not  yet  understood  that  it  is  absolutely  useless  at  the  present 
day  to  dispute  the  evolution  of  living  beings.  Deceived  by  the 
divergent  opinions  of  scientists  concerning  hypotheses  which 
endeavor  to  explain  the  details  of  evolution,  these  persons  con- 
found the  details  with  the  fundamental  facts  of  evolution. 

Ontogeny.  Phylogeny. — In  the  light  of  the  facts  of  evolution, 
heredity  takes  quite  a  new  aspect  when  removed  from  the  old 
biblical  idea  of  the  independent  creation  of  species.  Haeckel 
launched  into  the  scientific  world,  under  the  name  of  "funda- 
mental biogenetic  law,"  a  theory  which,  without  having  the 
right  to  the  title  of  an  immutable  dogma,  explains  the  facts  in  a 
general  way,  and  gives  us  a  guiding  line  along  the  phylogenetic 
history  of  living  beings.  "  Ontogeny,"  that  is  the  history  of 
the  embryological  development  of  each  individual,  always  con- 
sists in  a  summary  and  fragmentary  repetition  of  phylogeny,  or 
the  history  of  the  ancestors  of  the  species  to  which  the  individual 
belongs.  This  signifies  that,  as  embryos,  w^e  repeat  in  an 
abridged  form  the  series  of  types  or  morphological  stages  through 
which  has  passed  the  series  of  our  animal  ancestors,  from  the 
primitive  cell  to  man.  In  reality  this  is  only  true  in  a  relative 
way,  for  a  considerable  part  of  the  ancestral  engraphias  of  the 
embryo  has  disappeared  without  leaving  any  trace;  also  many 
embryos,    especially   those   which   have   special   conditions   of 


EVOLUTION  OR  DESCENT  OF   LIVING   ORGANISMS  41 

existence  outside  the  body  of  their  mother,  have  acquired  special 
complex  organs  and  corresponding  functions.  Thus,  the  cater- 
pillars of  butterflies  with  their  specific  and  generic  peculiarities, 
hairs,  horns,  etc.,  furnish  many  examples  of  secondary  acquired 
characters  which  have  nothing  in  common  with  the  worm,  which 
is  the  ancestral  type  of  the  butterfly  represented  by  the  embry- 
onic period  when  it  is  a  caterpillar.  However,  many  undoubted 
vestiges  of  the  ancestral  history  are  found  in  the  embryos  at 
different  periods  of  their  development.  It  is  certain  that  insects 
descended  from  worms,  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  the  larv2e  of 
insects,  wliich  are  almost  worms,  represent  the  ontogenetic  repe- 
tition of  the  phylogeny  of  insects. 

It  is  also  certain  that  whales,  although  they  have  whalebone 
instead  of  teeth,  have  descended  from  cetacea  provided  with 
teeth,  which  in  their  turn  descended  from  terrestrial  mammals. 
But  we  find  in  the  embryo  whale  a  complete  denture  which  is 
of  no  use  to  it,  and  which  disappears  in  the  course  of  the  embry- 
onic period.  This  denture  is  nothing  else  than  a  phylogenetic 
incident  in  the  ontogeny  of  the  whale. 

In  the  fins  of  cetacea,  as  in  the  four  limbs  of  other  mammals, 
we  find  the  same  bones,  which  are  derived  from  the  bones  of  the 
wings  and  legs  of  their  bird  ancestors.  In  birds,  the  same  bones 
are  the  phylogenetic  derivatives  of  the  limbs  of  reptiles. 

All  these  facts  demonstrate  with  certainty  the  descent  of  animal 
forms,  a  descent  which  we  can  follow  in  all  its  details.  In  cer- 
tain ants  whose  bodies  show  their  close  relationship  with  a  slave- 
keeping  group,  but  which  have  become  the  parasitic  hosts  of 
other  ants,  we  find  not  only  the  arched  mandibles,  shaped  for 
rape,  but  the  undoubted  rudiments  of  the  slave  instinct,  although 
this  instinct  has,  perhaps,  not  been  exercised  by  them  for  thou- 
sands of  years. 

These  examples  suffice  to  show  that  the  form  and  functions 
of  a  living  organism,  as  well  as  its  mental  faculties,  are  derived 
not  only  from  the  most  recent  direct  ancestors  of  this  organism, 
but  that  they  partly  mount  much  higher  in  the  genealogical 
tree. 

Our  coccyx  is  a  vestige  of  the  tail  of  animals.  It  is  from  them 
also  that  we  have  inherited  anger  and  jealous}^,  sexual  appetites, 


42  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

fear,  cunning,  etc.  As  long  as  they  remain  in  use,  the  oldest 
inherited  characters  normally  remain  the  most  tenacious  and 
are  preserved  the  longest.  When  they  cease  to  be  utilized,  or 
become  useless,  they  still  remain  for  a  long  time  as  rudiments 
before  finally  disappearing;  for  instance  the  vermiform  appen- 
dix of  the  intestine  and  the  pineal  gland  of  the  brain.  These 
rudiments  often  persist  for  still  a  longer  time  in  the  embryo,  as 
we  have  seen  in  the  case  of  the  ancestral  teeth  of  the  embryo 
whales.  We  also  meet  with  the  stumps  of  wings  in  the  chrysalis 
of  certain  ants  (Anergates),  the  males  of  which  have  lost  their 
wings. 

Natural  Selection. — The  artificial  selection  practiced  by  gar- 
deners and  cattle  breeders  led  Darwin  to  his  hypothesis  of  nat- 
ural selection  by  the  struggle  for  existence.  Confirmed  in  his 
idea  by  the  observation  of  tropical  nature,  Darwin  thought  he 
could  explain  the  origin  of  living  beings  by  natural  selection. 
It  is  this  hypothesis  which  is  properly  called  Darwinism.  But 
the  name  Darwinism  has  also  been  given  to  evolution  as  a  whole, 
which  has  been  the  cause  of  endless  confusion.  All  the  mystic 
and  narrow-minded,  full  of  biblical  prejudice,  naturally  profit 
by  this  confusion  to  attack  the  facts  of  evolution  and  science 
itself. 

The  Struggle  for  Existence. — The  struggle  for  existence  and 
natural  selection  are  absolutely  positive  facts,  which  can  be 
constantly  verified  by  the  observation  of  living  nature  as  it  is 
presented  to  us.  All  living  beings  eat  one  another  or  at  any 
rate  struggle  against  each  other,  plants  as  well  as  animals;  and, 
apart  from  air  and  water,  animals  are  almost  entirely  nourished 
by  plants  and  other  animals.  It  is  obvious  that  in  this  perpetual 
struggle  the  less  adapted  and  the  less  armed — and  by  arms  we 
include  the  powers  of  reproduction,  resistance  to  diseases  and 
to  cold,  etc. — disappear,  while  the  better  adapted  and  the  better 
armed  persist.  I  confess  I  cannot  understand  the  detractors  of 
Darwin  who  are  blind  in  face  of  these  facts  and  hypnotized  by 
certain  conventional  suggestions. 

On  the  other  hand,  what  always  has  been  and  still  remains 
hypothetical  is  the  explanation  of  the  descent  of  all  plants  and 
animals  by  natural  selection  alone.     We  have  already  spoken 


EVOLUTION   OR  DESCENT  OF   LIVING   ORGANISMS  43 

of  the  mutations  of  de  Vries,  and  the  theory  of  the  mneme 
elaborated  by  Semon,  and  need  not  repeat  them  here.  Thanks 
to  the  idea  of  Hering,  worked  out  by  Semon,  the  facts  are  now 
explained  in  a  satisfactory  manner.  Engraphia,  produced  in 
the  organisms  by  the  mitating  agents  of  the  external  world, 
prepares  and  builds  up  little  by  little  their  increasing  compli- 
cations, while  selection,  by  continually  eliminating  the  unfit, 
directs  the  elaborating  work  of  the  mneme  and  adapts  it  to 
the  surrounding  local  circumstances. 

De  Vries  has  objected  that  the  variations  produced  by  arti- 
ficial and  natural  selections  are  mutable,  while  sudden  muta- 
tions have  a  much  more  stable  character.  But  we  have  just 
seen  that  these  mutations  themselves  are  evidently  only  the 
delayed  ecphoria  of  a  long  ancestral  engraphia  accumulated. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  variations  obtained  by  selection  are 
themselves  only  due  to  more  rapid  ecphorias,  derived  from  re- 
peated conjugations  in  a  certain  direction.  Plate  and  others 
have  shown  that  they  may  become  more  and  more  fixed,  if  they 
are  well  adapted,  and  thus  become  more  tenacious.  There  is, 
therefore,  no  contradiction  between  the  fundamental  facts,  and 
all  is  simply  and  naturally  explained  by  the  combination  of 
hereditary  mnemic  engraphia  with  selection. 

Recent  study  on  the  transformations  of  living  beings  have 
shown  that  they  do  not  take  place  in  a  regularly  progressive 
manner,  as  Darwin  at  first  believed,  but  that  periods  of  rela- 
tively rapid  transformation  alternate  with  periods  of  relative 
arrest,  both  in  a  general  way  and  for  each  particular  species. 
We  see  certain  species  remaining  almost  stationary  for  an  im- 
mense time  and  tending  rather  to  disappear,  while  others  vary 
enormously,  showing  actual  transformation.  The  transplanta- 
tion of  one  species  to  a  new  environment,  for  instance  to  a  new 
continent,  provokes,  as  has  been  proved,  a  relatively  rapid  trans- 
formation. It  is  evident  that  mnemic  engraphia  transforms  or- 
ganisms the  more  rapidly  as  it  changes  in  nature  itself,  which  is 
the  case  in  the  migrations  we  have  just  mentioned,  and  which 
also  changes  the  factors  of  selection. 

Other  facts  show  clearly  that  the  fauna  and  flora  of  the  present 
world  find  themselves  in  a  period  of  recoil  with  regard  to  their 


44  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

modification.  In  the  tertiary  period  the  fauna  and  flora  of  the 
world  were  richer  than  to-day;  many  more  older  species  have 
disappeared  than  new  ones  have  arisen.  This  fundamental  fact- 
seems  due  to  the  extremely  slow  cooling  of  the  earth,  and  ap-; 
pears  to  be  indicated  by  the  powerful  growth  in  tropical  climates, 
the  fauna  and  flora  of  which  resemble  those  of  the  tertiary^  period, 
and,  on  the  other  hand  by  the  relative  poverty  and  slo-s\Tiess  of 
growth  in  cold  countries. 

Conclusions. — What  are  the  principal  conclusions  to  which 
we  are  led  by  this  short  study  of  the  ancestral  history  or  ph}-- 
logeny  of  man? 

(1).  The  transformation  or  evolution  of  living  beings  is  a 
demonstrated  fact. 

(2).  The  factors  in  evolution  appear  at  first  sight  to  be  very 
diverse:  selection,  mutation,  climatological,  physical  and  chem- 
ical factors,  etc. 

We  have  seen  that  they  may  all  be  connected  with  the  funda- 
mental principle  of  mnemic  engraphia,  aided  by  natural  selection. 
No  doubt  the  natm'e  of  the  mnemic  engraphia  of  external  agents 
in  the  living  substance  is  still  unknown.  W^hen  we  are  able  to 
connect  the  laws  of  life  with  the  laws  of  inert  nature,  we  shall 
only  have  before  us  a  single  great  metaphysical  mystery,  that 
of  the  tendency  of  mundane  energy  to  the  differentiation  of 
details  and  the  production  of  complicated  forms.  What  is  im- 
portant here  is  to  know  that  engraphia  and  selection  are  capable 
of  considerably  modifying  species  in  a  positive  or  negative 
manner,  for  good  or  evil,  improving  them  by  good  influence 
and  good  conjugations,  or  deteriorating  them  by  bad  selection 
or  by  blastophthoria,  which  causes  them  to  degenerate.  The 
combination  of  a  bad  selection  with  blastophthoric  influences 
constitutes  the  great  danger  for  humanity,  and  it  is  here  that  a 
rational  sexual  life  should  intervene. 

(3).  The  mental  faculties  of  animal  species,  as  well  as  their 
physical  characters,  depend  on  their  ancestral  hereditary 
mneme.  They  simply  represent  the  internal  or  introspective 
side  of  central  activity,  and  the  brain  obeys  the  natural  laws  of 
the  mneme  in  the  same  way  as  the  other  organs. 

(4).  It  follows  from  all  this  that  phylogeny  and  selection,  the 


EVOLUTION  OR  DESCENT  OF  LIVING  ORGANISMS  45 

ame  as  heredity  properly  understood,  have  the  right  to  a  f  unda- 
nental  place  in  the  sexual  question,  for  the  germs  which,  after 
jjach  conception,  reproduce  an  individual  are,  on  the  one  hand, 
)earers  of  the  inherited  energy  of  our  ancestors,  and  on  the 
)ther  hand,  that  of  future  generations.  According  to  the  care 
)r  neglect  of  civilized  humanity  they  may  be  transformed  for 
;ood  or  evil,  progress  or  recede.  Unfortunately,  owing  to  reli- 
gious and  other  prejudices,  the  question  of  evolution  is  not  dis- 
!ussed  in  schools.  Hence,  the  majority  of  men  only  hear  of 
:,hese  things  by  hearsay  in  a  rough  and  inexact  manner;  so  that 
I  series  of  phenomena  familiar  to  naturalists  and  medical  men, 
]ire  still  dead  letters  for  the  rest  of  the  public.  This  obliges  me 
\jO  speak  further  on  some  points  of  detail. 

The  so-called  historical  times,  that  is  the  times  of  the  Chinese, 
Egyptians  and  Assyi'ians,  which  appear  to  us  extremely  remote, 
ire  from  the  point  of  view  of  evolution  very  near  to  us.  These 
mcient  peoples,  at  any  rate  those  who  were  our  direct  ancestors, 
Dr  who  were  closely  related  to  them,  are  thus,  in  the  language 
oi  evolution,  which  takes  no  count  of  time  or  of  the  number  of 
generations,  our  very  near  relations.  The  generations  which 
separate  them  from  us  and  the  few  hundred  generations  between 
them  and  those  of  their  direct  ancestors,  who  were  at  the  same 
time  ours,  represent  a  limited  period  from  the  point  of  view  of 
the  ethnological  history  of  mankind. 

On  the  other  hand,  if  we  examine  the  savage  peoples  of 
America,  Asia,  Africa  and  Australia,  which  have  been  specially 
studied  since  the  discovery  of  America  and  some  of  which  are 
actually  living,  and  compare  them  with  ourselves  and  with  our 
ancestors  of  four  thousand  years  ago,  we  find  that  they  differ 
infinitely  more  from  us  than  we  differ  from  our  ancestors,  as 
their  ethnographical  and  historical  remains  are  sufficient  to 
prove. 

Among  the  savage  peoples  we  find  races  such  as  the  pigmies 
of  Stanley  (Akkaas),  the  Weddas  of  Ceylon,  even  Australians 
and  negroes,  whose  whole  bodily  structure  differs  profoundly 
from  our  European  race  and  its  varieties.  The  profoundness 
and  constancy  of  these  differences  clearly  show  that  the  rela- 
tionship of  such  races  to  ours  must  be  very  remote.    We  are 


46  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

concerned  here  with  veritable  races  or  sub-species,  or  at  least 
with  very  constant  and  accentuated  varieties.  It  is  true  that 
it  is  difficult  to  unravel  the  almost  inextricable  confusion  of 
human  races;  but  we  may  be  certain  that  the  savage  races  and 
varieties  remote  from  ours,  and  even  certain  less-remote  races 
such  as  the  Mongols  and  Malays,  are,  phylogenetically  speaking, 
infinitely  less  related  to  us  than  the  ancient  Assyrians.  This 
indicates  that  the  ancestors  which  were  common  to  us  and  these 
races  must  probably  be  looked  for  several  thousands  of  genera^ 
tions  back,  even  when  their  descendants  are  still  living  on  other 
continents  at  the  present  day. 

It  is  easy  to  explain  that  human  races  so  different  could 
develop  separately  in  continents  and  'under  climates  with  a 
very  different  mode  of  life  and  conditions  of  development,  if  we 
reflect  that  at  these  remote  periods  men  only  had  very  limited 
modes  of  transport  and  lived  in  a  fashion,  very  little  different 
from  that  of  the  anthropoid  apes,  so  that  the  ethnological  forms 
were  preserved  separated  from  each  other  by  small  distances. 
This  fact  can  still  be  observed  among  the  small  hostile  Indian 
or  Malay  tribes,  who  live  in  tropical  regions  and  often  occupy 
only  a  few  square  leagues.  The  higher  civilizations  of  former 
times  could  not  develop  beyond  a  comparatively  limited  circle, 
as  their  means  of  transport  did  not  allow  them  to  venture  too 
far.  The  conquest  of  the  whole  earth  by  modern  civilization 
by  means  of  the  mariner's  compass,  firearms,  steam  and  elec- 
tricity is  thus  an  absolutely  contemporaneous  event,  unique  in 
the  history  of  the  world,  the  origin  of  which  hardly  goes  back 
more  than  four  hundred  years.  This  event  has  completely 
upset  the  natural  internal  evolution  of  human  races,  by  the  fact 
that  all  the  lower  races  attacked  by  civilized  races  armed  with 
gims  and  alcohol,  are  destined  to  rapid  and  complete  destruction. 

Geology  has  discovered  in  the  caves  of  the  quaternary  period, 
human  remains  which  are  much  lower  in  the  scale  of  evolution 
and  much  nearer  the  anthropoid  apes  than  the  lowest  races 
still  living.  Their  brain,  as  shown  by  the  cranial  cavity,  was 
still  smaller.  Lastly,  Dubois  has  discovered  in  Java  the  cra- 
nium of  Pithecanthropus  erectus  which  is  intermediate  between 
that  of  the  orang-utan  and  man.    If  more  such  remains  are  dis- 


EVOLUTION  OR  DESCENT  OF   LIVING  ORGANISMS  47 

covered  the  chain  of  transition  between  the  apes  and  man  will 
be  almost  complete. 

Hybridity.  Consanguinity. — Before  concluding  this  chapter 
we  must  study  the  question  of  hybrids.  It  is  important  to  know 
to  what  point  fecundity  and  descent  are  influenced  by  the  degree 
of  relationship  between  the  two  procreators.  Conjugation  prob- 
ably arises  from  the  general  necessity  of  organisms  to  reenforce 
their  race  by  variety.  Consanguinity  perpetuated  is  harmful  to 
the  species,  in  the  same  way  as  parthenogenesis,  or  indefinite 
reproduction  by  fission  or  budding.  It  produces  enfeeblement 
and  degeneration  of  the  race,  and  leads  to  extinction  by  causing 
sterility. 

By  consanguinity  is  meant  continued  sexual  union  between 
near  relatives.  It  is  easy  to  understand  that  the  conjugation  of 
two  germs  derived  from  brothers  and  sisters  or  from  a  father 
and  his  daughter  approaches  parthenogenesis  from  the  point  of 
view  of  the  mixing  of  hereditary  energies.  We  shall  see  later 
on  that  nearly  all  peoples  have  a  certain  repugnance  to  con- 
sanguineous marriages.  Among  animals,  natural  selection  elimi- 
nates too  consanguineous  products. 

On  the  other  hand,  sexual  union  between  different  species, 
however  little  removed,  gives  no  products.  Near  species  may 
produce  hybrids  between  themselves,  but  these  hybrids  are  as  a 
rule  sterile  or  nearly  so,  and  are  incapable  of  perpetuating  their 
type,  which  reverts  rapidly  to  one  of  the  primitive  species. 

It  has  been  recently  demonstrated  that  the  incapacity  of  two 
species  of  animals  to  produce  hybrids  is  intimately  connected 
with  the  reciprocal  toxicity  of  their  blood.  When  the  blood  of 
one  species  is  injected  into  the  veins  of  another  the  production 
of  hybrids  is  possible  between  them,  at  least  as  far  as  has  been 
obsei'ved.  It  is  curious  to  note  that  the  blood  of  the  anthropoid 
apes  is  not  toxic  for  man,  although  these  animals  are  very  differ- 
ent from  us,  and  hybrids  have  not  yet  been  produced.  This 
fact  helps  us  to  understand  how  it  is  that  the  differences  which 
exist  between  the  different  human  races  do  not  prevent  the  pro- 
duction of  hybrids  between  any  two  of  them.  In  spite  of  this 
we  may  state,  without  risk  of  error,  that  the  most  dissimilar 
human  races  give  a  bad  quality  of  hybrids,  which  have  little 


48  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

chance  of  forming  a  viable  mongrel  race.  We  have  not  sufficient 
information  on  this  point  concerning  the  lowest  human  races,' 
such  as  the  pigmies  and  Weddas.  On  the  other  hand,  mulattoes 
(hybrids  between  negi'oes  and  whites)  constitute  a  race  of  veryi 
bad  quality  and  hardly  viable,  while  the  hybrids  between  In- 
dians and  whites  are  much  more  resistant  and  of  relatively 
better  quality. 

In  this  question,  the  middle  course  appears  without  any  doubt 
the  true  one.     Unions  between  near  races  and  varieties,  or  at 
least  between  individuals  of  the  same  race  or  variety  whose  rela- 
tionship is  old,  are  certainly  the  best.     We  readily  grant  that 
the  homogeneity  of  a  race  has  the  advantage  of  fixing  its  pecu-j 
liarities  in  a  more  durable  and  characteristic  fashion;  but  many' 
inconveniences  counterbalance  this  advantage.     If  we  one  day, 
by  wise  selection  and  by  eliminating  all  sources  of  blastophthoria ! 
obtain  a  superior  quality  of  human  germs,  it  is  possible  that  in  ' 
the  remote  future,  consanguinity,  provided  it  is  not  exaggerated, 
may  lose  its  dangers. 


CHAPTER   III 

NATURAL    CONDITIONS    AND     MECHANISM     OF     HUMAN    COITUS — 
PREGNANCY — CORRELATIVE  SEXUAL  CHARACTERS 

It  is  impossible  to  comprehend  the  deep  meaning  and  lofty  aim 
of  an  act  like  that  of  sexual  union  without  knowing  the  details 
of  conjugation  and  the  origin  of  man  as  we  have  explained  them 
in  the  preceding  chapters. 

Conjugation  requires  the  bringing  together  of  two  cells,  and 
consequently  the  movement  of  at  least  one  of  them.  This 
cellular  movement  suffices  for  the  lower  forms  of  union  and  is 
usually  limited  to  the  male  cell.  Owing  to  its  movement  it 
plays  the  active  role,  while  the  passive  role  is  reserved  for  the 
female  cell.  Hence  we  see  in  the  higher  plants  the  male  cells, 
or  pollen,  transported  to  the  pistil  by  the  wind  or  by  insects, 
and  thence  reach  the  egg  by  mechanical  endosmotic  attraction 
which  brings  about  conjugation. 

This  takes  place  in  an  analogous  manner  in  lower  animals, 
but  the  male  cell  is  generally  endowed  with  special  movement. 
As  soon  as  we  deal  with  complicated  animals,  mobile  in  them- 
selves and  composed  of  cells  differentiated  to  form  complex 
organs,  we  see  a  second  phenomena  of  reproductive  movements 
appear  in  the  animal  phylogeny,  namely  the  movement  of  the 
whole  individual  bearing  male  cells  toward  the  individual  bear- 
ing female  cells.  This  simple  fact  gives  rise  to  the  formation  of 
correlative  sexual  differences  between  the  individuals  bearing 
each  kind  of  germinal  cells.  As  the  result  of  the  evolution  of 
these  two  phylogenetic  systems  of  motor  phenomena  tending 
to  establish  conjugation,  we  obtain  for  each  sex  two  categories 
of  sexual  formations: 

(1).  The  germinal  cells  themselves,  the  female  form  of  which 
becomes  larger,  more  rich  in  protoplasm,  and  remains  immo- 

49 


50  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

bile,  while  the  male  form,  or  spermatozoid  becomes  extremcl\' 
small  and  is  provided  with  motor  apparatus  (Fig.  11). 

(2).  The  individuals  with  their  correlative  sexual  differences 
proper  to  the  male  and  female,  disposed  in  a  way  to  give  the 
male  the  active  role  and  the  female  the  passive  role. 

Normal  hermaphrodism,  complete  or  reciprocal  (snails,  etc.) 
constitutes  an  intermediate  stage.  Here  each  individual  bears 
two  kinds  of  germinal  cells  and  possesses  also  male  and  female 
copulative  organs,  so  that  there  only  exists  one  form  of  indi- 
viduals which  copulate  reciprocally;  the  male  organ  of  one 
penetrating  the  female  organ  of  the  other  and  vice  versa.  It  is 
obvious  that  this  excludes  the  formation  of  correlative  individual 
sexual  characters. 

In  the  second  category,  the  male  always  differs  from  the 
female,  at  least  in  the  sexual  organs,  and  usually  in  other  physi- 
cal and  mental  characters.  The  difference  in  the  sexual  func- 
tions leads  to  the  formation  of  differences  in  other  parts  of  the 
body,  and  in  instincts  and  sentiments,  which  find  their  material 
expression  in  the  different  development  of  the  brain. 

Certain  specific  functions  in  society  may,  in  social  animals 
like  the  ants,  lead  to  the  formation  or  differentiation  of  a  third 
or  fourth  kind  of  individuals.  This  is  what  is  called  polymor- 
phism. Here  it  is  not  the  sexual  function  causes  the  correlative 
differences  of  the  individuals,  but  division  of  social  labor.  The 
ecphoria  of  the  hereditary  mneme  which  produces  the  polymor- 
phous, and  more  or  less  asexual  individual  forms  (workers, 
warriors,)  still  proceeds  through  the  energies  of  the  reproducing 
germs.  Here  the  action  of  selection  is  necessary  to  explain  the 
phenomena. 

In  man,  sexual  differentiation  has  led  to  the  formation  of  two 
kinds  of  individuals,  differing  little  in  their  correlative  attributes, 
but  each  bearing  one  kind  of  germinal  cells.  In  sexual  union 
man  plays  the  active  part,  woman,  the  passive.  When  sexual 
activity,  in  the  animal  kingdom,  is  no  longer  limited  to  the  move- 
ment of  one  of  the  cells  but  requires  the  displacement  of  the 
whole  individual,  we  can  quite  understand  that  the  organization 
of  these  individuals  must  become  much  more  complex,  and  that 
it  requires  a  central  nei-vous  system  as  a  directing  apparatus. 


CONDITIONS   AND   MECHANISM    OF   HUMAN   COITUS  51 

Sexual  individuality  thus  involves  collaboration  of  the  other 
organs  of  the  body,  and  especially  that  of  the  central  organs  for 
reflex  movements,  the  instincts  and  the  higher  mental  faculties  of 
man,  in  the  accomplishment  of  the  fecundating  act  those  which 
are  the  consequences  of  it. 

From  this  simple  animal  origin  is  evolved  the  complex  sexual 
love  of  man.  The  duty  of  the  active  or  male  individual  it  to 
bring  the  spermatozoa  to  a  point  where  they  can  easily  reach 
the  female  cells  or  ovules.  Wlien  this  is  done  the  duty  of  the 
male  is  accomplished.  In  the  passive  or  female  individual  of 
the  higher  animals,  pairing  and  conjugation  are  only  the  com- 
mencement of  reproductive  activity.  However,  this  is  not  the 
case  in  the  whole  animal  kingdom.  For  instance,  fish  have  dis- 
tinct sexes,  but  in  them  the  female  deposits  her  non-fecundated 
eggs  in  the  water  and  is  not  concerned  with  them  any  further. 
The  male  then  arrives  and  discharges  his  sperm  on  the  eggs. 
In  this  case  fecundation  takes  place  without  copulation.  With 
such  a  system  sexual  love  and  maternal  love  lose  their  raison 
d'etre,  for  the  young  fish  are  capable  of  providing  for  themselves 
as  soon  as  they  are  born.  There  are,  however,  a  few  exceptions, 
one  of  the  most  curious  being  that  of  certain  fish  of  the  Dead 
Sea,  in  which  the  male  incubates  the  eggs  by  taking  them  into 
his  buccal  cavity. 

Reproduction  in  Vertebrates. — We  should  never  finish  if  we 
were  to  describe  even  the  chief  varieties  of  sexual  union  among 
the  vertebrates.  As  a  rule,  the  male  possesses  a  copulating 
organ  which  projects  externally,  while  the  female  presents  an 
invaginated  cavity,  more  or  less  cylindrical,  into  which  the 
male  organ  can  penetrate.  A  certain  amount  of  sperm  is  depos- 
ited by  the  male  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  matm-e  ovules  (Fig. 
18)  discharged  from  the  female  germinal  gland  or  ovary,  which 
renders  conjugation  possible.  By  means  of  their  mobile  tails, 
the  spermatozoa  (Fig.  11)  are  able  to  reach  the  ovules  and 
fecundate  them.  The  manner  in  which  the  egg  when  fecun- 
dated, either  in  the  mother's  body  or  after  being  laid,  continues 
its  development,  varies  enormously  in  different  species.  The 
eggs  are  often  deposited  by  the  female  and  the  embryo  develops 
outside  the  mother's  body.     This  occurs  in  insects,  mollusks, 


52  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

fish,    amphibia,    reptiles,   birds   and   the   lowest   mammals   or 
monotremes  (ornithorhynchus  and  echidna). 

In  the  lower  mammals  is  developed  an  organ  called  the  womb  . 
which  allows  the  embryo  to  remain  longer  in  the  maternal  body.  ; 
This  organ  is  very  incomplete  in  them,  and  a  pocket  or  fold  in  | 
the  skin  of  the  belly  allows  the  mother  to  carry  her  young,  which  ' 
are  extremely  embryonic  at  birth,  till  they  have  developed  suffi-  : 
ciently  to  live  alone.  This  occurs  in  marsupials  (kangaroos  and  t 
opossums),  in  which  the  vagina  and  utcrug  are  double. 

In  the  higher  mammals  the  womb  becomes  more  and  more 
developed,  opening  into  a  single  vagina  in  the  middle  line  of  the  y 
abdomen,  between  the  two  ovaries,  and  constituting  a  highly 
specialized  organ  which  allows  the  mother  to  presence  the  young 
for  a  long  time  in  her  belly.     In  most  mammals  the  uterus  has 
two  elongated  diverticula,  each  of  which  may  contain  a  sue-  | 
cessive  series  of  embiyos.    In  man  it  forms  a  single  cavity  and  | 
normally  contains  a  single  embrj^o,  occasionally  two  or  more.  ' 
These  facts  show  that  the  role  of  the  female  mammal  in  repro- 
duction is  more  important  than  that  of  the  male.     But  this  is 
not  all.     ^Miether  it  still  lays  eggs,  or  whether  it  gives  birth  to 
young  which  are  more  or  less  developed  its  sexual  role  is  far 
from  ended.     The  higher  oviparous  vertebrates,  especially  the 
birds,  take  care  of  their  progeniture  for  some  time*  after  laying. 
The  young  are  still  fed  by  the  mother,  either  by  milk  from  the  : 
teats,  as  in  mammals,  or  by  nourishment  obtained  from  outside, 
as  in  birds,  or  by  both  methods  combined  or  succeeding  each 
other,  as  in  cats. 

In  many  animals  the  male  contributes  to  the  raising  of  the 
young;  a  point  to  which  we  shall  return.  Here,  we  indicate 
these  complicated  details  simply  to  show  that  sexual  union  only 
contributes  one  link  in  the  long  chain  of  reproduction.  Let 
us  study  its  mechanism  in  man. 

The  Copiilatory  Organ  of  Man.  The  Testicles.  The  Seminal 
Vericles. — Nature  is  often  very  sparing  even  in  the  highest  or- 
ganizations. It  has  thus  combined  in  the  male  the  urethra  with 
the  copulatory  organ,  and  the  sexual  germinal  glands,  or 
testicles,  with  an  accessory  gland,  the  epididymis.  Hundreds  of 
thousands  of  spermatozoa  are  contained  in  the  glandular  tubes 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM   OF  HUMAN  COITUS  53 

of  these  organs,  which,  when  they  are  mature  can  always  pro- 
duce new  ones  by  cell  division.  The  spermatozoa  accumulate 
at  the  extremity  of  the  duct  of  the  gland  in  a  reservoir  called 
the  seminal  vesicle,  where  they  float  in  the  mucus,  thus  consti- 
tuting the  seminal  fluid  or  sperm.  This  liquid  has  a  special 
odor.  The  two  seminal  vesicles  are  situated  in  the  abdominal 
cavity  underneath  the  urinary  bladder,  each  having  a  duct 
which  meets  that  of  the  other  side  and  opens  by  the  side  of  it 
in  the  deep  part  of  the  urethra.  Here  the  secretion  of  several 
other  glands,  especially  of  the  prostate,  is  added  to  the  sperm 
and  mixes  with  it.  The  point  where  the  two  seminal  ducts  open 
into  the  urethra  forms  a  small  elevation,  the  verumontanum. 
From  this  point  the  male  urethra  emerges  from  the  abdominal 
cavity  and  is  continued  along  the  special  prolongation  which 
forms  the  penis,  or  virile  member  of  copulation.  In  the  ordinary 
way  the  penis  only  serves  for  the  emission  of  urine.  It  hangs 
flaccid  and  terminates  in  a  rounded  swelling  called  the  glans, 
at  the  end  of  which  opens  the  urethra  (Fig.  18).  This  opening 
serves  also  for  the  emission  of  the  sperm. 

Erection.  The  Corpus  Cavernosum. — The  most  curious  part 
of  this  apparatus  is  the  mechanism  of  erection,  or  the  power  pos- 
sessed by  the  penis  of  swelling  under  the  influence  of  certain 
nervous  irritations,  increasing  in  length  and  diameter  as  well  as 
becoming  rigid.  This  phenomenon  is  produced  by  three  organs 
called  the  cavernous  bodies  which  form  the  principal  bulk  of  the 
penis.  One  of  them,  situated  in  the  middle  and  underneath 
and  formed  by  two  bodies  united  into  one,  surrounds  the  urethra 
and  terminates  in  front  in  a  dilatation  which  constitutes  the 
glans  already  mentioned.  The  two  others  are  situated  symmet- 
rically on  the  dorsal  part  of  the  penis.  All  three  consist  of 
caverns  or  diverticula  formed  by  blood-vessels,  which  are  empty 
when  the  penis  is  flaccid.  By  a  complex  nervous  mechanism 
based  on  vascular  paralysis  due  to  nervous  phenomena  called 
inhibition  and  dynamogeny,  the  nervous  irritations  cause  an 
accumulation  of  blood  in  the  spaces  of  the  cavernous  bodies 
which  become  so  gorged  with  blood  as  to  form  stiff  and  hard 
rods.  The  size  of  the  penis  is  thereby  increased  considerably 
and  its  stiffness  allows  it  to  penetrate  the  vagina  of  the  female. 


54  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

At  the  same  time  and  by  the  same  mechanism  the  verumontanum 
swells  so  as  to  close  the  ureter  from  the  bladder,  while  the  semi- 
nal ducts  open  toward  the  urethral  orifice.  In  this  way  the  cop- 
ulatory  organ  is  ready  for  its  function. 

Repeated  irritations  are  however  necessary  to  provoke  the 
ejaculation  of  semen.  This  is  finally  produced  by  excitation  of 
a  special  muscle  which  compresses  the  seminal  vesicles  in  a 
spasmodic  manner  and  ejaculates  the  semen  by  the  urethra. 
After  ejaculation,  the  accumulation  of  blood  in  the  cavernous 
bodies  gradually  diminishes  and  the  penis  again  becomes 
flaccid. 

This  apparatus  is  thus  very  complicated  and  is  put  in  action 
by  several  nervous  irritations  which  may  be  disturbed  in  many 
ways  in  affections  of  the  nervous  system.  We  may  observe 
here  that  the  nervous  centers  of  erection  and  ejaculation  may 
be  put  in  action  directly  by  the  brain,  or  indirectly  by  peripheral 
irritation  of  the  glans. 

Those  peripheral  nerves  which  provoke  sexual  excitation  are 
especially  the  nerves  of  the  glans.  This  possesses  a  skin  or 
mucous  membrane  which  is  extremely  delicate  and  is  protected 
against  external  irritation  by  a  fold  of  skin  called  the  'prepuce, 
or  foreskin.  The  prepuce  is  often  too  narrow  so  that  it  cannot 
be  withdrawn  behind  the  glans.  It  then  forms  a  pocket  in 
which  sebaceous  matter,  semen,  urine,  etc.,  accumulate  and  de- 
compose. This  anomaly,  called  phimosis,  does  not  exist  among 
the  Jews  owing  to  circumcision,  or  the  removal  of  the  prepuce  in 
the  newly  born,  which  forms  part  of  their  religious  rites.  Hy- 
gienic considerations  sometimes  oblige  us  to  perform  this  opera- 
tion in  others.  The  bad  habit  of  masturbation,  so  common  in 
boys,  is  often  provoked  by  phimosis,  and  shows  that  simple 
mechanical  irritation  of  the  glans,  due  here  to  secretions  con- 
tained in  the  prepuce,  may  lead  to  ejaculation  of  semen  as  well 
as  to  erection. 

We  have  seen  above  that  the  male  and  female  germinal  glands 
arise  from  the  same  primitive  organ  in  the  embryo.  If  the  em- 
bryo becomes  male,  this  organ  is  transformed  into  the  two  tes- 
ticles which  descend  gradually  in  the  canal  of  the  groin  and 
become  placed  in  the  scrotum.     If  it  becomes  female,  the  two 


CONDITIONS  AND   MECHANISM  OF  HUMAN  COITUS  55 

sexual  glands  remain  in  the  abdominal  cavity  and  are  trans- 
formed into  ovaries. 

The  Genital  Organs  of  Woman. — The  organs  described  in  Chap- 
ter II  (Figs.  18  and  19),  constitute  the  internal  and  more  im- 
portant part  of  the  female  sexual  apparatus.  In  women,  the 
urethra  opens  externally  on  its  own  account.  It  is  much  shorter 
and  wider  than  in  men.  At  its  external  extremity  is  a  small 
cavernous  body  called  the  clitoris,  which  corresponds  embryo- 
logically  to  the  penis  in  man,  and  chiefly  to  the  glans.  Like  the 
latter  it  is  specialized  for  sexual  irritation  and  possesses  very 
sensitive  nerves.  The  opening  of  the  female  urethra  is  situated 
in  front  of  the  vulva  directly  under  the  pubic  bone,  at  the  same 
place  as  the  root  of  the  male  penis.  From  this  point,  on  each 
side  of  the  middle  line,  extend  two  longitudinal  folds,  one  exter- 
nal covered  with  skin  and  called  the  larger  lip  of  the  vulva 
(Fig.  18,  labia  majora),  the  other  internal,  hidden  under  the 
first,  called  the  lesser  lip  of  the  vulva  {labia  minora),  and  cov- 
ered with  thin  mucous  membrane.  Between  the  two  lesser  lips 
is  the  sexual  aperture,  which,  with  the  labia  majora  and  minora 
is  called  the  vulva.  This  opening  is  distinct  from  that  of  the 
urethra,  and  leads  to  the  internal  cavity  or  vagina  (Fig.  18). 
The  vagina  is  about  ten  to  twelve  centimeters  long  (2  to  2| 
inches)  and  terminates  in  a  cul-de-sac  which  surrounds  the 
vaginal  portion  of  the  womb,  of  which  we  have  spoken 
above. 

In  virgins  the  entrance  to  the  vagina  is  more  or  less  closed 
by  a  delicate  transverse  membrane  called  the  hymen,  which  is 
only  perforated  by  a  narrow  opening.  At  the  first  coitus  the 
hymen  is  torn,  causing  a  certain  amount  of  pain  and  bleeding. 
The  walls  of  the  vagina  are  thrown  into  transverse  folds,  which 
render  them  somewhat  rough.  The  remains  of  the  hymen  torn 
by  the  first  coitus  afterward  form  behind  the  vulva  small 
excrescences  named  carunculce  myrtijormes. 

In  the  first  chapter  we  have  spoken  of  the  changes  undergone 
by  the  fecundated  ovule  till  it  becomes  the  embryo  and  then 
the  infant.  It  remains  to  speak  of  the  mechanism  of  expulsion 
of  the  ovule  and  of  its  fecundation,  as  well  as  the  changes  in  the 
woml)  which  result  from  these  phenomena. 


56  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

Menstruation. — About  every  four  weeks,  one  or  two  o\'ules 
(rarely  more)  mature  and  are  discharged  into  the  Fallopian 
tubes,  dowD.  which  they  pass  by  the  movement  of  the  vibratUe 
cilia  of  the  mucous  membrane,  to  the  uterus,  to  the  walls  of 
which  they  become  attached  if  they  have  been  fecundated  on 
the  way  (Fig.  18).  Fecundation  or  conjugation  takes  place 
most  often  in  the  Fallopian  tube,  sometimes  in  the  uterus. 
The  maturation  and  expulsion  of  the  ovule  are  generally  accom- 
panied in  women  by  a  nerv'ous  phenomenon  closely  related  to 
erection  in  man.  The  mucous  membrane  of  the  cavity  of  the 
uterus  is  very  rich  in  blood  vessels  which  become  dilated  and 
gorged  with  blood  under  the  inhibitory  influence  of  certain  nerve 
centers.  As  the  mucous  membrane  is  very  thin,  the  result  is 
otherwise  than  in  man;  the  blood  transudes  through  the 
mucous  membrane  and  flows  away.  This  is  called  vienstriiation 
("courses"  or  monthly  periods).  The  object  of  this  is,  no 
doubt,  to  prepare  the  mucous  membrane  of  the  womb  for  the 
fixation  of  the  fecundated  egg  which  will  become  grafted  on  its 
surface.  The  courses  in  women  generally  last  three  or  four 
days,  but  are  often  very  irregular.  It  is  necessary  to  point  out 
that  they  do  not  depend  on  o\iilation  (expulsion  of  the  egg). 
The  two  phenomena  may  take  place  independently  of  each 
other,  for  menstruation  in  itself  depends  only  on  nerv^ous  irrita- 
tion, which  may  be  provoked  or  averted  by  hypnotic  suggestion, 
for  example. 

Moreover,  there  are  women  who  never  menstruate  and  who, 
in  spite  of  this,  not  only  regularly  discharge  ovules  but  may  be 
fecundated  and  become  pregnant.  Usually,  however,  the  two 
phenomena  are  associated  by  nerv'ous  reflexes,  so  that  menstrua- 
tion takes  place  first  and  then  the  ovule  commences  its  migration. 

The  Mechanism  of  Coitus. — Copulation,  or  coitus,  takes  place 
as  follows:  After  a  certain  degree  of  excitation,  both  mental 
and  sensor}',  the  male  introduces  the  erect  and  stiffened  penis 
into  the  vagina.  In  the  case  of  advanced  pregnancy  he  should 
place  himself  behind,  so  as  to  avoid  injuring  the  unborn  child. 
Rhythmic  movements  of  the  two  indi\'iduals,  especially  of  the 
man,  gradually  increase  the  excitation  of  the  mucous  membrane 
or  skin  of  the  genital  organs  of  each  party,  till  voluptuous  sen- 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM   OF   HUMAN  COITUS  57 

sations,  arising  chiefly  in  the  glans  penis  and  clitoris,  spread  to 
the  whole  nervous  system  and  the  entire  body,  constituting 
what  is  called  the  venereal  orgasm,  and  terminating  in  the  man 
by  the  ejaculation  of  semen. 

The  localizations  of  irritability  in  woman  are  multiple,  and 
to  the  clitoris  must  be  added  the  nipples,  the  vulva,  and  even, 
it  is  said,  the  neck  of  the  womb.  In  man  the  parts  round  the 
anus  may  also,  besides  the  glans  penis,  form  an  excitable  region. 
At  the  acme  of  erection  the  glans  is  turgid,  and  is  applied  di- 
rectly against  the  neck  of  the  womb  (Fig.  18).  In  this  way  the 
sperm  is  ejaculated  directly  against  the  neck  of  the  womb. 

In  the  woman  an  analogous  phenomenon  takes  place;  the 
clitoris  becomes  turgid  and  the  mild  and  repeated  friction  of 
the  mucous  membranes,  together  with  contact  on  other  sensi- 
tive parts,  produces  a  voluptuous  sensation  as  in  the  man. 
Through  nervous  association,  the  repeated  excitation  deter- 
mines secretion  from  certain  glands  of  the  vagina  which  lubri- 
cate the  vulva  (glands  of  Bartholin) .  At  the  maximum  point  of 
voluptuous  feeling  the  woman  experiences  something  analogous 
to  the  venereal  orgasm  of  the  man.  There  is  thus  manifested 
in  the  two  sexes  an  intense  and  reciprocal  desire  of  penetration 
one  by  the  other,  a  desire  which  powerfully  favors  fecundation. 
In  the  woman  as  in  the  man  the  end  of  the  orgasm  is  followed 
by  an  agreeable  relaxation  which  invites  sleep. 

The  hereditary  or  instinctive  nervous  actions  produce  after 
coitus  a  profound  effect  of  contrast.  When  the  sexual  appetite 
commences,  the  odors,  especially  those  of  the  sexual  organs,  the 
contacts,  the  movements,  and  the  sight  of  the  individual  of  the 
opposite  sex,  all  increase  desire,  producing  a  voluptuous  excita- 
tion stronger  than  all  contrary  feeling.  Hardly  is  the  sexual  act 
consummated  than  all  vanishes  like  a  dream.  What  w^as  a 
moment  before  the  object  of  the  most  violent  desire  becomes 
indifferent,  and  sometimes  even  excites  a  slight  feeling  of  dis- 
gust, at  least  as  regards  certain  odors,  sometimes  even  regarding 
touch  and  sight.  The  name  sexual  appetite  (libido  sexualis)  is 
given  to  the  passionate  and  purely  sexual  desire  of  the  two 
sexes  for  each  other.    It  varies  greatly  in  different  individuals. 

According  to  Ferdy  and  other  authors,  the  neck  of  the  womb. 


58  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

during  the  venereal  orgasm  of  the  woman,  executes  movements 
of  suction  in  the  glans  penis,  I  do  not  know  if  this  is  a  fact, 
but  it  is  certain  that  the  female  orgasm  is  useless  for  conception. 
Absolutely  cold  women,  incapable  of  the  least  voluptuous  sen- 
sation are  as  fruitful  as  those  who  have  pronounced  venereal 
orgasms.  It  proves  that  the  spermatozoa  arrive  at  their  goal 
even  when  the  womb  is  entirely  passive.  The  great  variation  of 
sexual  desire  in  different  individuals  renders  mutual  adaptation 
often  veiy  difficult.  The  venereal  orgasm  is  sometimes  more 
rapid  in  man,  sometimes  in  woman  (more  rarely  in  the  latter) . 
This  inequality  is  rather  to  the  detriment  of  the  woman,  for  the 
man  can  still  satisfy  himself  when  the  orgasm  of  the  woman  has 
terminated,  while  the  contrary  is  not  possible  without  artificial 
manipulation.  Moreover,  the  frequence  and  intensity  of  the 
sexual  appetite  are  often  much  greater  in  one  than  in  the  other, 
which  is  detrimental  to  both.  Here  again  it  is  the  woman  who 
suffers  the  most,  for  the  man  can  always  satisfy  himself  without 
the  woman  having  voluptuous  sensations.  What  is  commonly 
called  good  manners  generally  prevents  the  conjoints  from  speak- 
ing of  their  sexual  desires  before  marriage.  This  very  often  re- 
sults in  grave  deceptions,  dissensions,  and  often  even  divorce. 
I  shall  return  to  this  subject  in  Chapter  XIV. 

Voluptuous  sensations  only  represent  the  means  employed  by 
nature  to  bring  together  the  sexes  with  the  object  of  reproducing 
the  species.  A  woman  can  be  fecundated  and  give  birth  to  a 
child  by  the  aid  of  semen  injected  into  the  uterus  by  a  syringe. 
Moreover,  it  is  rather  exceptional  for  the  venereal  orgasm  to 
occur  in  the  two  sexes  at  the  same  moment.  It  is  essential  for 
fecundation  that  the  semen  should  enter  the  womb.  When  the 
spermatozoa  have  reached  the  neighborhood  of  the  neck  of  the 
womb  they  swim  by  their  own  movements,  not  only  along  the 
whole  uterine  cavity,  but  also  along  the  Fallopian  tubes  and  even 
in  the  abdominal  cavity,  so  that  the  force  of  ejaculation  is  of 
little  importance. 

Pregnancy. — The  womb  enlarges  considerably  during  preg- 
nancy. It  exceeds  the  size  of  an  adult  head,  and  the  muscles 
of  its  walls  are  greatly  increased,  so  as  to  be  capable  of  expelling 
the  child  later  on. 


CONDITIONS   AND   MECHANISM   OF   HUMAN   COITUS  59 

The  phenomena  of  pregnancy,  birth  and  suckling  are  known 
to  all,  so  that  I  shall  be  brief.  The  almost  sudden  activity  of 
the  breasts  after  childbirth  is  a  very  interesting  correlative 
phenomenon.  It  suffices  to  glance  at  one  who  has  just  become 
a  mother  and  to  observe  the  complications  which  profoundly 
influence  all  her  organism  with  regard  to  the  life  of  the  infant, 
to  comprehend  to  what  extent  the  role  of  sexual  life  is  more  im- 
portant, more  profound,  even  more  vital,  in  woman  than  in 
man.  The  latter  no  doubt  requires  a  more  violent  appetite  to 
urge  him  to  copulation  because  he  plays  the  active  part,  short 
though  it  be.  But  fecundating  coitus  having  been  effected,  his 
contribution  to  the  reproduction  of  the  species  is  ended. 

While  the  activity  of  man  is  terminated  at  conception,  that  of 
woman  only  begins  at  this  moment.  In  the  first  chapter  we 
have  indicated  in  a  few  words  the  transformations  of  the  human 
embryo  up  to  its  birth.  During  nine  months  it  grows  from  the 
size  of  a  pin's  head  (the  ovule)  to  that  of  the  new-born  child. 
Although  a  woman  seldom  bears  more  than  one  embryo  at  the 
same  time,  twins  being  rare  on  the  whole,  she  has  nevertheless 
more  pain  and  fatigue  to  bear  than  any  female  animal.  This 
is  due  not  only  to  the  fact  that  our  artificial  and  alcoholized 
civilization,  with  its  specialized  labor  which  disturbs  vital  equi- 
lil^rium,  has  made  women  indolent  and  degenerate,  but  also  to 
the  enormous  development  of  the  human  brain.  The  head  of 
the  human  embryo  is  disproportionately  large  because  the  brain, 
as  I  showed  with  Schiller  in  1889,  already  contains  at  birth  all 
the  nerve  elements  w4iich  it  wall  possess  during  the  rest  of  its 
life  (Comptes  rendus  de  VAcademie  des  Sciences).  No  doubt 
these  elements  are  small  and  embiyonic  but  the  nerve  fibers  are 
ready  to  be  covered  with  myehn  and  to  enter  upon  their  func- 
tions, and  all  this  requires  a  cranium  of  considerable  size.  But 
it  is  not  everything  for  the  mother  to  nourish  with  her  blood 
the  brain  and  the  cranium  of  the  child;  it  is  also  necessary  for 
this  relatively  large  head  to  pass  through  the  pelvis  at  the  time 
of  childbirth,  and  we  know  that  this  moment  is  the  most  dan- 
gerous for  the  life  of  the  pregnant  woman.  As  boys  have  on 
the  average  a  larger  brain  and  cranium  than  those  of  girls,  their 
birth  is  usually  more  difficult. 


60  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Accouchement. — The  sexual  organs  of  woman  undergo  great 
changes  in  order  to  render  childbirth  possible.  These  organs 
become  larger  and  more  vascular,  especially  the  womb,  the 
growth  of  which  is  astonishing.  Originally  the  size  of  a  small 
egg  (a  guinea  fowl's)  it  exceeds  the  size  of  a  human  head,  and 
there  is  an  enormous  increase  of  muscular  tissue  in  its  walls. 
Large  blood  vessels  develop  in  the  uterine  wall,  especially  in  the 
placenta  (Figs.  22  and  23),  where  they  enter  into  endosmotic 
relations  with  the  circulation  of  the  embryo. 

From  the  abdomen  of  the  embryo  arises  an  organ,  the  allantois, 
which  is  destined  to  carry  the  blood-vessels  of  the  embryo  to  the 
placenta,  and  at  the  same  time  to  give  rise  to  the  formation  of 
the  latter.  In  the  placenta  the  blood-vessels  of  the  embryo 
are  separated  from  those  of  the  mother  by  walls  so  thin  that 
the  nutritive  juices  of  the  maternal  blood  transude  into  the 
venous  blood  of  the  embryo,  as  well  as  combined  oxygen  in 
the  blood  necessary  for  its  respiration.  Up  to  this  point  the 
vitellus  of  the  egg,  nourished  by  endosmosis  through  its  mem- 
branes, had  sufficed  for  the  nutrition  of  the  still  very  small  em- 
bryo. While  these  phenomena  are  taking  place,  and  while  the 
substance  of  the  two  conjugated  germs  divides  into  an  ever  in- 
creasing number  of  cells,  which  become  differentiated  in  layers 
to  form  the  future  organs  (Fig.  21),  while  certain  groups  of  cells 
are  prepared  some  to  form  the  intestinal  canal,  others  the  mus- 
cles and  blood  vessels,  others  the  skin  and  organs  of  sense,  others 
arising  from  the  last  to  form  the  brain,  the  spinal  cord  and  the 
nerves,  the  mother  can  still  live  her  ordinary  life.  She  suffers, 
however,  from  different  disorders  connected  with  what  is  passing 
on  in  her  body. 

It  is  a  curious  fact  that  these  disorders  are  more  accentuated 
at  the  commencement  of  pregnancy,  when  the  womb  is  hardly 
enlarged,  than  at  the  end.  They  consist  chiefly  of  nervous 
troubles — slight  derangement  of  the  cerebral  functions  and  sen- 
sations, etc.  Obstinate  vomiting,  peculiar  desires,  and  changes 
of  temper  are  some  of  the  most  frequent  troubles  of  pregnant 
women,  and  probably  arise  more  from  local  nervous  irritation 
than  from  general  transformations  of  the  nutrition  of  the  body. 
The  mother's  body  is  becoming  adapted  to  the  development  of 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM  OF  HUMAN  COITUS  61 

the  infant  in  the  womb.  However  embarrassed  a  woman  may 
be  in  the  last  months  of  pregnancy  by  the  great  swelling  of  the 
belly  (Fig.  22)  the  disorders  are  less  accentuated  than  at  the 
beginning  of  pregnancy. 

During  pregnancy  menstruation  ceases.  The  sexual  appetite 
is  very  variable;  in  many  pregnant  women  it  is  diminished,  in 
others  there  is  no  change,  and  it  is  seldom  increased.  There  are 
other  troubles  which  are  more  or  less  frequent,  such  as  varicose 
veins  in  the  legs  caused  by  pressure  of  the  uterus  on  the  veins. 

But  all  the  sufferings  of  pregnancy  and  childbirth  are  compen- 
sated for  by  the  ardent  desire  of  the  normal  woman  to  have  a 
child,  and  by  the  happiness  of  hearing  its  first  cry.  Proud  and 
happy  to  give  life  to  a  new  human  being,  which  she  hopes  soon 
to  suckle  and  carry  in  her  arms,  she  cheerfully  bears  all  the  in- 
conveniences and  pains  of  pregnancy  and  childbirth.  The  latter 
is  actually  painful,  for  in  spite  of  all  that  nature  does  to  relax 
the  pelvis  and  render  it  elastic,  to  dilate  the  neck  of  the  womb, 
the  vagina  and  the  vulva,  the  passage  of  the  enormous  head  of  a 
human  infant  through  all  these  relatively  narrow  apertures  is 
extremely  difficult  (Figs.  22  and  23).  The  passage  is  forced  by 
the  powerful  contractions  of  the  muscles  of  the  womb.  How- 
ever, they  do  not  always  succeed  by  themselves,  and  in  this  case 
the  accoucheur  is  obliged  to  apply  the  forceps  to  extract  the 
head  of  the  child.  Very  often  the  neck  of  the  womb,  the  vagina 
or  the  perineum  (the  part  situated  between  the  anus  and  the 
vulva)  become  torn  during  labor,  and  this  may  lead  later  on  to 
disorders  such  as  prolapse  of  the  womb,  etc.;  disorders  which 
may  last  through  life. 

When  the  child  is  born,  the  umbilical  cord  (that  is  the  trans- 
formed allantois,  Fig.  23)  cut,  and  the  placenta  extracted,  the 
connecting  nutrition  and  respiration  between  the  child  and 
its  mother  are  suddenly  interrupted.  Nourished  hitherto  by  its 
mother's  blood  through  the  placenta  and  the  vessels  of  the 
umbilical  cord  which  supplied  the  necessary  oxygen,  the  infant 
is  suddenly  obliged  to  breathe  and  feed  for  itself.  Its  lungs, 
hitherto  inactive,  expand  instantaneously  under  the  nervous  in- 
fluence produced  by  the  blood  saturated  with  carbonic  acid,  and 
the  first  cry  is  produced.     Thus  commences  individual  respira- 


62  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

tion.  Several  hours  later  the  cessation  of  maternal  nutrition 
causes  hunger,  and  this  the  reflex  movements  of  suction,  and  the 
child  takes  the  breast.  During  this  time  the  empty  womb  con- 
tracts strongly  and  retracts  enormously  in  a  few  days.  The  in- 
crease of  blood  produced  by  the  maternal  organism,  by  its 
adaptation  to  the  nutrition  of  the  embryo,  is  then  employed  in 
the  production  of  milk  in  the  l:)roasts  or  lactiferous  glands,  which 
were  already  well  develoix'd  during  pregnancy. 

Suckling.  Maternity. — The  mother  is  instinctively  disposed 
to  suckle  her  child  as  the  infant  is  to  suck.  At  the  end  of  four  to 
six  weeks,  the  womb  has  almost  completely  regained  its  former 
size. 

In  savage  races  suckling  at  the  breast  lasts  for  two  years  or 
more.  It  is  useless  to  mention  here  to  what  point  the  capacity 
for  suckling  and  the  production  of  milk  have  diminished  among 
the  modern  women  of  civilized  countries.  This  sad  sign  of  de- 
generation is  due  to  a  large  extent,  as  Bunge  has  shown  by  care- 
ful statistics,  to  the  habit  of  taking  alcoholic  drinks,  and  is  com- 
bined with  other  blastophthoric  degenerations  due  to  hereditary 
alcoholism.  The  future  will  show  whether  the  artificial  feeding 
of  infants  with  cows'  milk  will  benefit  humanity.  In  any  case 
it  allows  infants  to  survive  who  would  die  without  it.  On  the 
other  hand  the  development  of  a  degeneration  can  hardly  be 
an  advantage  for  the  species  and  we  should  hope  for  a  return 
to  the  natural  rule  by  abstinence  from  all  alcoholic  drinks. 

The  false  modesty  of  women  concerning  their  pregnancy  and 
everything  that  concerns  childbirth,  the  pleasantries  often  made 
with  regard  to  pregnant  women  are  a  sad  sign  of  the  degenera- 
tion and  even  corruption  of  our  refined  civilization.  Pregnant 
women  ought  not  to  hide  themselves,  or  to  be  ashamed  to  carry 
a  child  in  their  womb;  on  the  contrary  they  should  be  proud. 
Such  pride  would  certainly  be  nmch  more  justified  than  that  of 
the  fine  officers  parading  in  their  uniforms.  The  external  signs 
of  the  formation  of  humanity  are  more  honorable  to  their  bear- 
ers than  the  symbols  of  destruction,  and  woman  should  become 
imbued  more  and  more  with  this  truth!  They  will  then  cease 
to  hide  their  pregnancy  and  to  be  ashamed  of  it.  Conscious  of 
the  grandeur  of  their  sexual  and  social  duty  they  will  raise  aloft 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM   OF  HUMAN  COITUS  63 

the  standard  of  our  descent,  which  is  that  of  the  true  future  life 
of  man,  at  the  same  time  striving  for  the  emancipation  of  their 
sex.  Viewed  in  this  way,  the  sexual  role  of  woman  becomes 
elevated  and  solemn.  Man  should  less  and  less  maintain  his  in- 
difference towards  the  social  miseries  to  which  the  slavery  of 
woman  has  led,  which  has  lasted  thousands  of  years  and  which 
has  dishonored  the  highest  functions  of  her  sex,  by  abuses 
without  number. 

The  hygiene  of  pregnancy,  labor  and  its  sequels,  is  of  the 
highest  importance.  It  certainly  should  not  consist  in  exag- 
gerated care  and  precaution,  for  in  spoiling  and  softening 
women  by  inaction  more  harm  than  good  is  done.  On  the 
other  hand,  the  social  cruelty  which  neglects  poor  women  of  the 
people  in  confinement,  often  even  without  giving  them  sufficient 
nourishment,  is  revolting,  and  it  is  here  especially  that  the  re- 
form of  social  hygiene  becomes  an  elementary  necessity  for 
humanity. 

All  that  we  have  just  spoken  of  binds  the  woman  for  months 
or  years  to  each  of  her  children,  and  we  can  understand  that  her 
whole  soul  is  adapted  in  consequence  to  maternity.  Even  when 
birth  has  detached  the  child  from  the  maternal  body,  it  remains 
attached  to  its  mother  by  a  hundred  bonds,  not  only  during  the 
period  of  suckling,  but  long  afterward  when  the  conventions  do 
not  violate  natural  laws.  Little  children  are  deeply  attached 
to  their  niother,  and  while  the  father  is  impatient  with  their 
cries  and  the  embarrassment  which  they  cause,  the  mother  takes 
a  natural  delight  in  them.  \Vhen  pregnancies  succeed  each 
other  at  reasonable  intervals  of  one  or  two  years,  the  normal 
woman  lives  with  her  children  for  many  years  in  intimacy  which 
never  entirely  ceases  in  a  family  animated  by  human  and  social 
sentiments. 

In  normal  circumstances  the  special  bonds  which  unite  the 
mother  to  her  children  last  for  life,  while  the  father,  if  all  goes 
well,  becomes  simply  the  best  friend  of  his  gi'owing  children. 
It  is  time  that  fathers  began  to  recognize  these  natural  laws, 
instead  of  clinging  so  tenaciously  to  the  historic  and  artificial 
prestige  of  a  worm-eaten  and  unnatm-al  patriarchal  authority. 
No  doubt  there  are  many  pathological  and  degenerate  mothers, 


64  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

but  such  an  anomaly  only  proves  the  rule  that  we  have  just 
laid  down.  i 

Correlative  Sexual  Characters. — The  correlative  sexual  char-  \ 
acters,  which  we  have  previously  spoken  of  in  animals,  are  well  ! 
known  in  man.     Man  is  in  the  average  larger,  broader  in  the  ; 
shoulders  and  more  robust;   his  skeleton  is  more  solid  but  his 
pelvis  narrower.    At  the  age  of  puberty,  from  16  to  20  years, 
the  beard  grows  on  the  face,  while  in  the  pubic  region  hair  de- 
velops in  both  sexes.    At  the  same  time  the  testicles  and  exter- 
nal genital  organs  enlarge.    The  sexual  glands  as  well  as  the 
external  genital  organs  have  remained  so  far  in  an  embryonic 
state  although  the  mechanism  of  erection  is  already  established 
in  young  boys.     But  this  mechanism,  in  the  normal  boy,  is  not 
associated  with  any  voluptuous  sensation  or  any  glandular 
secretion, 

Man  possesses  the  rudiments  of  the  correlative  sexual  charac- 
ters of  woman,  such  as  nipples  without  lactiferous  glands,  etc. 
In  a  general  way  each  part  of  the  external  genital  organs  of  one 
sex  has  its  corresponding  embryonic  homologue  in  the  other, 
which  is  explained  by  the  different  transformations  which  were 
originally  the  same  in  the  embryo.  The  clitoris  of  woman  cor- 
responds to  the  penis  of  man,  the  labia  majora  to  the  scrotum, 
etc.  In  certain  individuals  these  rudiments  are  more  strongly 
developed,  and  may  by  exaggeration  and  transition  lead  to 
pathological  hermaphrodism  (Chapter  I);  such  are  bearded 
women,  and  those  possessing  a  large  clitoris,  or  beardless  men 
with  effeminate  bodies  and  small  sexual  organs.  Such  cases 
are  not  examples  of  hermaphrodism,  but  of  incomplete  embryo- 
logical  differentiation.  They  consist  in  certain  correlative  sex- 
ual characters  which  show  a  tendency  toward  the  other  sex,  a 
tendency  which  we  find,  from  the  mental  point  of  view,  in 
homosexuals. 

There  is  also  to  be  noticed  the  "breaking"  of  the  voice  which 
occurs  in  man  at  the  age  of  puberty,  and  is  connected  with  the 
nervous  system. 

In  women  the  body  is  smaller  and  more  delicate,  the  bones 

•  weaker,  the  pelvis  wider  and  the  chest  narrower.     The  normal 

woman  has  no  beard  while  the  pubic  hairs  are  the  same  as  in 

i 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM  OF  HUMAN  COITUS  65 

man.  The  pubis,  covered  with  a  layer  of  fat,  is  sUghtly  promi- 
nent in  women  and  is  called  the  mons  Veneris.  There  is  more 
fat  under  the  skin  in  a  woman's  body,  and  the  voice  does  not 
break.  After  puberty  breasts  develop  with  their  lactiferous 
glands  and  nipples  for  suction.  Puberty  takes  place  a  little 
earlier  in  women  than  in  men,  and  corresponds  to  the  growth 
of  the  internal  and  external  sexual  organs,  at  the  same  time 
that  the  ovules  commence  to  mature  and  menstruation  is  estab- 
lished. 

The  mental  correlative  sexual  characters  are  much  more  im- 
portant than  those  of  the  body.  The  psychology  of  man  is 
different  from  that  of  woman.  Many  books  have  been  written 
on  this  subject,  usually  with  more  sentimentality  than  exacti- 
tude. Mysogynists,  like  the  philosopher  Schopenhauer,  dis- 
parage woman  from  all  points  of  view,  while  the  friends  of  the 
female  sex  often  exalt  her  in  an  exaggerated  manner.  In  con- 
temporary literature  we  see  women  authors  judging  man  in 
quite  different  ways  according  as  they  are  affected  with  "mis- 
andery"  or  "philandery" — that  is  enemies  or  friends  of  men. 
Quite  recently  Moehius  has  published  a  mysogynistic  work  on 
the  "  Physiological  Imbecility  of  Woman."  (Der  physiologische 
Schwachdnn  des  Weihes).  One  must  be  a  misogynist  of  very 
high  degree  to  introduce  the  pathological  notion  of  imbecility 
into  the  evolution  of  the  normal  mentality  of  woman.  In 
reality,  the  individual  differences  are  much  greater  in  man  and 
woman  from  the  psychological  than  from  the  physical  point  of 
view,  so  that  they  render  a  definition  of  the  average  extremely 
difficult. 

We  are  acquainted  with  bearded  women,  athletic  women,  as 
well  as  beardless  men  and  puny  men.  From  the  mental  point 
of  view,  there  are  also  viragos  and  men  with  feminine  instincts. 
Imbeciles  are  not  wanting  in  both  sexes,  but  no  reasonable 
person  will  deny  that  an  intelligent  woman  is  superior  to  a 
narrow-minded  man  even  from  the  purely  intellectual  point  of 
view.  In  spite  of  these  difficulties,  I  shall  attempt  to  bring  for- 
ward the  principal  points  which  distinguish,  in  a  general  way, 
the  masculine  mind  from  the  feminine,  relying  on  my  own  obser- 
vations and  especially  on  the  mental  phenomena  of  both  sexes. 


66  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  "Weight  of  the  Brain. — According  to  statistics,  the  weight 
of  the  brain  in  men  of  our  race  is  on  the  average  1350  grammes, 
while  that  of  women  averages  1200  grammes.  The  absolute 
weight  is,  however,  not  of  much  importance,  because  part  of 
the  cerebral  substance  in  the  larger  animals  is  only  for  the  sup- 
ply of  a  greater  number  of  cellular  elements  of  the  rest  of  the 
body,  which  necessitates  a  greater  number  of  nervous  elements. 

To  make  the  matter  clear,  it  is  necessary  to  separate  the 
weight  of  the  cerebral  hemispheres  from,  the  other  nervous 
centers,  such  as  the  cerebellum,  corpora  striata,  the  optic 
thalami,  the  mid-brain,  the  pons  Varolii,  the  medulla  oblongata 
and  the  spinal  cord,  for  these  centers  constitute  parts  which  are 
phylogenetically  older,  that  is  to  say,  inherited  from  lower 
animal  ancestors.  Compared  with  the  cerebral  hemispheres, 
these  nerve  centers  are  relatively  more  important  in  other 
vertebrates  than  in  man,  and  are  in  more  constant  proportion 
to  the  size  of  the  body,  the  muscular,  glandular  and  sensory 
elements  of  which  they  supply.  When  the  intelligence  is  about 
the  same,  they  are,  therefore,  compared  with  the  cerebral  hemi- 
spheres, much  more  developed  in  the  larger  than  in  the  smaller 
animals.  For  example,  they  are  very  large  in  the  ox,  but  small 
in  mice.  I  have  weighed  a  considerable  number  of  human 
brains  separated  in  this  way  with  the  following  results: 

CEREBRAL  HEMISPHERES         OTHER  CEREBRAL,  CENTERS 

Man  1060  grammes,      78.5%      I      290  grammes,  21.5  % 
Woman  955  grammes,  77.9%      |      270  grammes,  22.1% 

Thus  the  cerebellum  and  basal  ganglia  are  a  little  smaller  in 
men  than  in  women,  compared  with  the  cerebral  hemispheres. 

These  figures  appear  to  show  that  the  cerebral  hemispheres 
in  woman  are  on  the  average  a  little  smaller  than  in  man,  even 
proportionately  to  the  stature;  for,  according  to  a  general  law 
in  the  animal  kingdom,  woman  being  smaller,  her  cerebral 
hemispheres  should  be,  with  equal  mentality,  proportionately  a 
little  larger.  There  are,  however,  female  brains  larger  than 
many  male  brains,  and  the  absolute  and  relative  size  of  the 
cerebral  hemispheres  does  not  give  a  complete  measure  of  the 
productive  faculties.  Remarkable  men  have  been  known  to 
possess  rather  small  brains  and  imbeciles  heavy  ones.  We  must 


CONDITIONS   AND   MECHANISM   OF   HUMAN   COITUS  67 

not  forget  the  great  importance  of  the  hereditary  or  engraphic 
predispositions  of  the  nerve  element  or  neurone,  to  certain 
activities  and  especially  to  work  in  general,  that  is  to  say,  their 
aptitude  to  produce  energy,  or  if  one  prefers  it,  their  disposition 
to  "will." 

It  is  also  interesting  to  consider  the  relationship  of  the  frontal 
lobe  to  the  rest  of  the  cerebral  hemispheres,  the  frontal  lobe 
being  without  doubt  the  principal  seat  of  intellectual  activity. 
According  to  Meynert,  the  weight  of  the  frontal  lobe  in  man 
exceeds  that  of  woman,  not  only  absolutely,  but  relatively  to 
the  rest  of  the  brain.  In  his  resume  of  the  statistical  data  col- 
lected on  this  subject  and  from  the  results  of  my  own  material 
(autopsies  at  the  asylum  of  Burgholzli  in  Zurich),  Mercier  has 
confirmed  the  opinion  of  Meynert.  The  average  weight  of  the 
hemispheres  separated  from  the  rest  of  the  brain  is  1019  grammes 
in  man  (frontal  lobe  428,  the  rest  591),  and  930  in  woman 
(frontal  lobe  384,  rest  546).  Here,  atrophied  brains  (except 
general  paralytics)  have  been  weighed  with  others,  which  lowers 
the  average  total  weight  without  altering  the  proportion.  Thus, 
the  rest  of  the  cerebral  hemispheres  exceeds  the  frontal  lobe  by 
163  grammes  in  man  and  162  grammes  in  woman,  which  means 
that  in  man  the  frontal  lobe  constitutes  42  per  cent,  of  the 
cerebral  hemispheres  and  in  woman  41.3  per  cent.  The  differ- 
ence is  not  great,  but  it  is  definite,  for  it  is  based  on  a  large  num- 
ber of  observations. 

Mental  Capacity  of  the  Two  Sexes. — The  fundamental  differ- 
ence between  the  psychology  of  woman  and  that  of  man  is  con- 
stituted by  the  irradiations  of  the  sexual  sphere  in  the  cerebral 
hemispheres,  which  constitute  what  may  be  called  sexual  men- 
tality. We  shall  discuss  this  in  the  following  chapters,  for  it 
constitutes  the  foundation  of  our  subject.  We  are  only  con- 
cerned here  with  the  correlative  differences. 

Adhering  in  a  general  way  to  the  main  definitions  of  psy- 
chology, we  assert  that  from  the  purely  intellectual  point  of 
view,  man  considerably  excels  woman  in  his  creative  imagina- 
tion, his  faculty  for  combination  and  discovery,  and  by  his 
critical  mind.  For  a  long  time  this  was  said  to  be  explained  by 
the  statement  that  women  had  not  the  opportunity  of  measuring 


68         '  THE  SEXrAL  QUESTION 

their  intelligence  against  that  of  men;  but,  thanks  to  the  mod- 
ern movement  of  the  emancipation  of  women,  this  assertion  be- 
comes more  and  more  untenable.  It  is  so  '^ith  regard  to  artistic 
creations,  for  women  have  at  all  times  taken  part  in  works  of 
art.  When  certain  people  maintain  that  a  few  generations  of 
activity  suffice  to  elevate  the  intellectual  development  of  women, 
they  confound  the  results  of  education  with  those  of  heredity 
and  phylogeny  (^dde  Chapter  II).  Education  is  a  purely  indi- 
vidual matter  and  only  requires  one  generation  to  produce  its 
results.  But  neither  nmemic  engraphia,  nor  even  selection  can 
modify  hereditary  energies  in  two  or  three  generations.  Tied 
down  hitherto  partly  by  servitude,  the  mental  faculties  of 
woman  will  doubtless  rise  and  flourish  in  aU  their  natural  power 
as  soon  as  they  are  absolutely  free  to  develop  in  society  equally 
with  those  of  men,  by  the  aid  of  equal  rights.  But  what  does 
not  exist  in  the  hereditaiy  mneme,  that  is  to  say  in  the  energies 
of  germs,  inherited  through  thousands  or  millions  of  years,  can- 
not be  created  in  a  few  generations.  The  specific  characters 
and  consequently  the  sexual  characters  have  quite  another  con- 
stancy than  is  believed  by  the  superficial  prattlers,  who  deafen 
us  with  their  jargon  on  a  question  of  which  they  only  grasp  the 
surface.  There  is  no  excuse,  at  the  present  day,  for  confounding 
hereditary  correlative  sexual  characters  with  the  indi\idual 
results  of  education.  The  latter  are  acquired  by  habit  and  can 
only  be  inherited  as  such  by  an  infinitesimal  engraphia,  possibly 
after  hundreds  of  generations. 

On  the  other  hand  woman  possesses,  from  the  intellectual 
point  of  view,  a  faculty  of  reception  and  comprehension  as  well 
as  a  facility  of  reproduction  which  are  almost  equal  to  those  of 
man.  In  higher  education  at  the  universities  the  women  I  have 
had  the  opportunity  of  observing  at  Zurich  for  many  years, 
show  a  more  equal  level  than  that  of  the  men.  The  most  intelh- 
gent  men  reproduce  best  and  the  most  stupid  men  reproduce 
worse  than  the  corresponding  female  extremes.  I  do  not  think 
one  can  say  much  more  concerning  the  purely  intellectual 
domain. 

Artistic  production  confirms  this  opinion.  Woman  is  here  on 
the  average  much  inferior  as  regards  creation  or  production, 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM  OF  HUMAN  COITUS  69 

properly  so  called,  and  even  her  best  results  are  wanting  in 
originality  and  do  not  open  up  new  paths.  On  the  contrary,  as 
virtuosos,  women  compare  well  with  men  in  simply  reproductive 
art.  There  are,  however,  exceptional  women  whose  productions 
are  original,  creative  and  independent.  The  philosopher  Stuart 
Mill  points  out  the  intuitive  gift  of  woman  who,  led  by  her  indi- 
vidual observations,  rapidly  and  clearly  discovers  a  general 
truth,  and  applies  it  in  particular  cases,  without  troubling  mth 
abstract  theories.  This  may  be  called  the  intuitive  or  sub- 
conscious judgment  of  woman. 

In  the  domain  of  sentiment  the  two  sexes  differ  very  much 
from  each  other,  but  we  cannot  say  that  one  surpasses  the  other, 
Both  are  passionate,  but  in  different  ways.  The  passions  of 
man  are  coarser  and  less  durable,  and  are  only  more  elevated 
when  associated  with  more  original  and  more  complex  intel- 
lectual aims.  In  woman  sentiment  is  more  delicate  and  more 
finely  shaded  esthetically  and  morally;  it  is  also  more  durable, 
at  least  on  the  average,  although  its  objects  are  often  of  a  mean 
and  banal  nature. 

WTien  man  compares  himseK  with  woman  he  usually  identi- 
fies himself,  more  or  less  unconsciously,  with  the  highest  male 
intellects,  with  the  men  of  genius  in  art  and  science,  and  com- 
plaisantly  ignores  the  crowd  of  idiots  of  his  own  sex!  In  the 
life  of  sentiment  the  two  sexes  may  complement  each  other 
admirably;  while  man  raises  the  height  of  the  ideal  and  of 
objects  to  be  attained,  woman  has  the  necessary  tact  to  soften 
and  refine  the  tones,  and  to  adapt  their  shades  to  each  special 
situation,  by  the  aid  of  her  natural  intuition,  where  man  risks 
spoiling  everything  by  the  violence  of  his  passions  and  his  efforts. 
This  reciprocal  influence  should  conduce  to  the  best  and  highest 
harmony  of  sentiments  in  a  happy  sexual  combination. 

As  regards  will  power,  woman  is,  in  my  opinion,  on  the  average 
superior  to  man.  It  is  in  this  psychological  domain  more  than 
in  any  other,  that  she  will  always  triumph.  This  is  generally 
misunderstood,  because  men  have  so  far  apparently  held  the 
scepter  of  an  unlimited  omnipotence;  because  by  the  abuse  of 
brute  force,  aided  by  superiority  of  inventive  genius,  humanity 
has  been  hitherto  led  by  strong  masculine  wills,  and  because  the 


70  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

strongest  feminine  wills  have  been  dominated  by  the  law  of  the 
right  of  the  stronger.  But  the  unprejudiced  observer  is  soon 
obliged  to  recognize  that  the  directive  will  of  the  family  is  only, 
in  general,  represented  externally  by  the  master,  Man  parades 
his  authority  much  more  often  than  he  puts  it  into  practice;  he 
lacks  the  perseverance,  tenacity  and  elasticity  which  constitute 
the  true  power  of  will,  and  which  are  peculiar  to  woman.  It  is 
needless  to  say  that  I  am  only  speaking  of  the  average  and  that 
there  are  many  women  whose  will  power  is  feeble.  But  these 
easily  become  the  prey  of  prostitution,  which  causes  their  disap- 
pearance. This  is  perhaps  one  of  the  causes  which  have  strength- 
ened by  selection  the  will  power  in  women.  Man  is  impulsive 
and  violent  as  regards  his  will  power,  but  often  inconstant  and 
irresolute,  yielding  as  soon  as  he  has  to  strive  persistently  for  a 
certain  object.  From  these  facts  it  naturally  results  that,  on 
the  average,  it  is  the  man  in  the  family  who  provides  the  ideas 
and  impulses,  but  the  woman  who,  with  the  finesse  of  her  tact 
and  perseverance,  instinctively  makes  the  distinction  between 
the  useful  and  the  harmful,  utilizing  the  former  and  constantly 
combating  the  latter;  not  because  she  is  fundamentally  supe- 
rior, but  because  she  is  more  capable  of  dominating  herself, 
which  proves  the  superiority  of  her  will  power. 

Nothing  is  more  unjust  than  to  disparage  one  sex  relatively 
to  the  other.  The  parthenogenesis  of  the  lower  animals  having 
ceased  in  the  vertebrates,  each  sex  is  indispensable,  not  only  to 
the  preservation  of  species,  but  also  to  each  conception  or  repro- 
duction of  the  individual.  Both  are  thus  equivalent  and  belong 
to  each  other  as  the  two  halves  of  a  whole,  one  being  incapable 
of  resisting  without  the  other.  Everything  which  benefits  one 
of  the  halves  benefits  the  other.  If  by  the  magic  wand  of  a 
fairy,  the  male  half  or  the  female  half  of  our  humanity,  such  as  it 
is  to-day,  was  rendered  capable  and  obliged  to  reproduce  alone, 
men  would  soon  degenerate  owing  to  the  weakness  of  their  will 
combined  with  their  sensual  passions,  and  women  from  their 
incapacity  to  raise  their  intellectual  level  by  means  of  creative 
ideas. 

We  need  not  dwell  here  on  the  numerous  psychological  pecu- 
liarities of  woman,  inherent  in  her  capacity  as  mother,  nor  on 


CONDITIONS  AND  MECHANISM  OF  HUMAN  COITUS  71 

those  of  man  adapted  to  his  muscular  strength  and  to  his  capac- 
ity as  protector  of  the  family.  These  are  derived  from  sexual 
differences  which  are  mentioned  in  Chapter  V.  Nor  need  we 
describe  correlative  differences  of  less  importance  which  are 
well  known  and  which  arise  from  those  of  which  we  have  spoken 
or  from  du'ect  sexual  differences.  They  can  be  observed,  on 
the  one  hand,  in  purely  male  reunions  in  saloons,  smoking 
rooms  and  other  similar  places;  on  the  other  hand,  in  feminine 
circles  of  all  classes,  among  the  common  people,  among  the 
fashionable,  or  even  in  philanthropic  associations.  On  the  aver- 
age, woman  is  more  artful  and  more  modest;  man  coarser 
and  more  cynical,  etc.  After  much  personal  experience,  gained 
in  societies  in  which  the  two  sexes  possess  the  same  rights  and 
are  admitted  to  the  same  titles,  I  am  obliged  to  declare  that  I 
have  never  found  any  confirmation  (at  least  in  the  German- 
Swiss  country)  of  the  popular  saying  that  gossip  and  intrigue 
are  the  special  appanage  of  woman.  I  have  found  these  two 
vices  quite  as  often  in  man. 


CHAPTER   IV 

THE   SEXUAL   APPETITE 

If  we  sum  up  the  three  preceding  chapters  we  arrive  at  the 
philosophical  conclusion  that  reproduction  depends  on  the  gen- 
eral natural  tendency  of  all  living  beings  to  multiply  indefinitely. 
Fission  and  sexual  reproduction  arise  from  the  simple  fact  that 
the  growth  of  each  individual  is  necessarily  limited  in  space  as 
well  as  time.  Reproduction  is  thus  destined  to  assure  the  con- 
tinuation of  life;  the  individual  dies  but  is  perpetuated  in  his 
progeny.  We  do  not  know  why  the  crossing  of  individuals  is 
rendered  necessary  by  the  phenomenon  of  conjugation.  On 
this  subject  we  can  only  build  hypotheses,  but  the  study  of 
nature  shows  us  that  where  conjugation  ceases  reproduction 
is  etiolated  and  finally  disappears,  even  when  it  is  still  pos- 
sible for  a  certain  time. 

From  the  commencement  of  life  there  is  thus  a  powerful  law 
of  attraction  with  the  object  of  reproduction.  At  first  there 
are  unicellular  organisms,  in  which  one  cell  penetrates  the  other 
in  the  act  of  conjugation.  Their  substances  combine  intimately, 
while  the  molecules  of^each  nucleus  become  so  arranged  as  to 
give  the  new  individual  a  more  fresh  and  powerful  energy  of 
growth. 

In  the  lower  multicellular  plants  and  animals  which  bud, 
fresh  buds  live  at  the  expense  of  the  old  trunk  to  give  life  to 
new  branches,  and  the  male  cells  or  pollen  fecundate  the  female 
cells  so  as  to  disperse  the  germs  capable  of  growth  and  of  thus 
reproducing  the  species.  It  is  also  the  same  in  the  madrepores 
and  other  agglomerated  animals  (such  as  the  solitary  worms), 
composed  of  parameres  or  metameres,  so  long  as  a  single  central 
nervous  system  does  not  coordinate  the  metameres,  or  primary 
agglutinated  animals,  into  a  single  organism. 

In  the  higher  animals,  the  complex  polycellular  individuals 

72 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  73 

formed  by  the  agglomeration  of  several  primitive  animals,  are 
transformed  into  a  higher  and  mobile  unity  by  the  aid  of  the 
great  vital  apparatus  called  the  nervous  system,  which  becomes 
the  mental  director  of  the  living  organism  and  invests  it  with 
its  individual  character.  However,  this  higher  unity  of  life, 
which  always  becomes  more  psychic,  that  is  to  say,  at  the  same 
time  intellectual,  sentimental  and  voluntary,  by  its  complica- 
tion and  its  numerous  relations  with  other  individuals,  this 
unity  called  the  central  nervous  system  cannot  do  without  the 
necessity  for  reproduction.  In  animal  phylogeny,  as  soon  as 
hermaphrodism  has  ceased  and  each  individual  has  become  the 
sole  bearer  of  one  of  the  two  kinds  of  sexual  cells,  the  species  will 
eventually  disappear  if  the  male  cells  cannot  reach  the  female 
cells  by  the  active  movement  of  the  whole  individual.  Thus  is 
produced  the  marvelous  phenomenon  of  the  desire  of  increase 
and  reproduction,  originally  peculiar  to  the  male  cell,  penetrating 
the  nervous  system,  that  is  to  say  life  and  soul  in  its  entirety, 
the  life  of  the  higher  unity  of  the  individual.  An  ardent  desire, 
a  powerful  impulse  thus  arises  in  the  nervous  system  at  the  time 
of  puberty  and  attracts  the  individual  toward  the  opposite  sex. 
The  care  and  the  pleasure  of  self  preservation,  which  had  hith- 
erto fully  occupied  his  attention,  become  effaced  by  this  new 
impulse.  The  desire  to  procreate  dominates  everything.  A 
single  pleasure,  a  single  desire,  a  single  passion  lays  hold  of  the 
organism  and  urges  it  toward  the  individual  of  the  opposite  sex, 
and  to  become  united  with  it  in  intimate  contact  and  penetra- 
tion. It  is  as  if  the  nervous  system  or  the  whole  organism  felt 
as  if  it  had  for  the  moment  become  a  germinal  ceU,  so  powerful 
is  the  desire  to  unite  with  the  other  sex. 

In  some  beautiful  verses  the  German  poet-philosopher  Goethe 
OYest-Oestlicher  Divan,  book  VIII,  "Suleika")  describes  the 
desire  to  procreate  (p.  63) : 

Und  mit  eiligem  Bestreben 
Sucht  sich,  was  sich  angehort, 
Und  zu  ungemessnem  Leben 
1st  Gefiihl  und  Blick  gekehrt. 
Sei's  ergreifen,  sei  es  raff  en, 
Wenn  es  nur  sich  fasst  und  halt ! 
Allah  braucht  nicht  mehr  zu  schaffen, 
Wir  erschaffen  seine  Welt ! 


74  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

If  we  look  at  nature  we  see  everywhere  the  same  desire  and 
the  same  attraction  of  the  sexes  for  each  other;  the  bird  which 
warbles,  the  mammal  which  ruts,  the  insect  which  hums  while 
pursuing  the  female  with  implacable  tenacity,  at  the  risk  of 
their  o^ti  life,  employing  sometimes  cunning,  sometimes  dex- 
terity, and  sometimes  force  to  attain  their  object.  The  ardor 
of  the  female  is  not  always  much  less,  but  she  uses  coquetry,  pre- 
tending to  resist,  and  simulates  repulsion.  The  more  eager  the 
male,  the  more  coquettish  is  the  female..  If  we  observe  the 
amorous  sport  of  butterflies  and  birds,  we  see  what  efforts  it 
costs  the  male  to  attain  his  object.  On  the  other  hand  when 
the  male  is  clumsy  and  slow  the  female  often  comes  toward 
him  or  at  any  rate  does  not  resist  him,  for  instance  in  certain 
ants  the  males  of  which  are  wingless  while  the  females  have  wings. 
The  final  act  always  consists  in  intimate  union  at  the  moment 
of  copulation. 

In  some  animals  Nature  is  prodigal  in  the  means  she  employs 
to  pursue  her  great  object,  reproduction,  by  aid  of  the  sexual 
appetite.  The  apiary  raises  hundreds  of  male  bees.  As  soon 
as  the  single  queen-bee  takes  wing  for  its  nuptial  flight  all  the 
males  follow,  but  a  single  male  only,  the  strongest  and  most 
nimble,  succeeds  in  reaching  her.  In  the  intoxication  of  copula- 
tion he  abandons  all  his  genital  organs  to  the  body  of  the  queen 
and  dies.  The  other  males,  now  useless,  are  all  massacred  in 
autumn  by  the  working  bees. 

Sexual  coimection  among  butterflies  of  the  Bombyx  family 
is  no  less  marvelous.  They  live  for  months  as  caterpillars  and 
sometimes  for  two  years  as  chrysalids,  hibernating  in  a  cocoon 
in  some  corner  of  the  earth  or  in  the  bark  of  trees.  Finally  the 
butterfly,  brilliantly  colored,  emerges  from  the  cocoon  and 
spreads  its  wings.  It  only  possesses,  however,  a  rudimentary 
intestinal  canal  for  the  short  life  which  remains,  for  it  does  not 
require  much  nourishment  and  is  only  devoted  to  sexual  con- 
nection. The  female  remains  quiet  and  waits.  The  male,  fur- 
nished with  large  antermse  which  perceive  the  odor  of  the  female 
at  a  distance  of  several  kilometers,  commences  an  infatuated 
flight  through  the  woods  and  fields,  as  soon  as  his  wings  are 
sufficiently  strong.     His  sole  object  is  to  reach  the  female. 


THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  75 

Here  again  there  are  numerous  competitors.  The  one  who 
arrives  first  possesses  the  female,  but  expires  shortly  afterward. 
His  competitors  die  also,  exhausted  by  their  long  flight  and  by 
starvation,  but  without  having  attained  their  object.  After 
copulation,  the  female  searches  for  the  green  plants  which  will 
ensure  a  long  caterpillar  life  for  her  offspring.  There  she  de- 
posits her  fecundated  eggs  in  considerable  numbers  and  then 
expires  in  her  turn,  like  a  faded  flower  which  has  fulfilled  the 
object  of  its  existence  and  falls  after  leaving  the  fruit  in  its  place. 

The  French  naturalist  Fabre  has  described  these  phenomena, 
relying  on  conclusive  experiments,  and  my  own  observations 
and  those  of  other  naturalists  confirm  them  fully.  Among  the 
ants,  all  the  males  die  also,  soon  after  an  aerial  nuptial  flight,  in 
which  copulation  is  generally  polyandrous,  one  male  hardly 
waiting  for  the  preceding  one  to  discharge  his  semen  before 
taking  his  place.  Here  the  female  possesses  a  receptacle  for 
semen  which  often  contains  the  sperm  of  many  males,  and  which 
allows  it  to  fecundate  the  eggs  one  after  another  for  several  years 
as  she  lays  them,  and  thus  to  act  as  the  mother  of  an  ant's  nest 
during  a  period  which  may  extend  to  eleven  or  twelve  years,  or 
even  more. 

In  the  lower  organisms,  love  consists  only  in  sexual  instinct 
or  appetite.  As  soon  as  the  function  is  accomplished  love  dis- 
appears. It  is  only  in  the  higher  animals  that  we  see  a  more  or 
less  durable  sympathy  develop  betw^een  the  two  sexes.  How- 
ever, here  also  and  even  in  man  the  sexual  passion  intoxicates 
for  the  moment  all  the  senses.  In  his  sexual  rut  even  man  is 
dominated  as  by  a  magic  influence,  and  for  the  time  he  sees  the 
world  only  under  the  aspect  inspired  by  this  influence.  The 
object  loved  appears  to  him  under  celestial  colors,  which  veil  all 
the  defects  and  miseries  of  reality.  Each  moment  of  his  am- 
orous feeling  inspires  sentiments  which  it  seems  to  him  should 
last  eternally.  He  swears  impossible  things  and  believes  in  im- 
mortal happiness.  A  reciprocal  illusion  transforms  life  momen- 
tarily into  mirages  of  paradise.  The  most  common  things,  and 
even  certain  things  which  usually  disgust  him,  are  then  the 
object  of  the  most  violent  desire.  But,  as  soon  as  the  orgasm  is 
ended  and  the  appetite  satisfied  the  feeling  of  satiety  appears. 


76  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

A  curtain  falls  on  the  scene,  and,  at  least  for  the  moment,  repose 
and  reality  reappear. 

Such  are,  in  a  few  words,  the  general  phenomena  of  the  nor- 
mal sexual  appetite  among  sexual  organisms  in  the  whole  of 
living  nature.  I  am  not  speaking  here  of  degenerations,  such 
as  onanism  and  prostitution.  Let  us  now  analyze  this  appetite 
further. 

The  natural  appetites  are  inherited  instincts  the  roots  of  which 
lie  far  back  in  the  phylogenetic  history  of  our  ancestors.  Hun- 
ger forms  the  basis  for  the  preservation  of  the  individual,  the 
sexual  appetite  that  for  the  preservation  of  the  species,  as  soon 
as  reproduction  takes  place  by  separate  sexes.  All  appetite 
belongs  to  the  motor  side  of  nervous  activity;  there  is  some- 
thing internal  which  urges  us  to  an  act,  but,  on  the  other  hand, 
one  or  more  sensations  may  exist  at  the  base  of  this  something 
to  put  it  in  action.  I  have  proved,  for  example,  that  the  egg- 
laying  instinct  in  the  corpse  fly  (Lucilia  ccesar)  is  only  produced 
by  the  odor  of  putrefaction.  As  soon  as  the  antennae,  which 
contain  the  organ  of  smell,  are  removed  from  these  flies  they 
cease  to  lay,  while  other  more  severe  operations,  or  removal  of 
one  antenna  only  does  not  produce  this  result. 

The  mechanism  of  appetites  is  thus  a  lower  mechanism  and 
has  its  seat  in  the  primitive  nervous  centers.  As  Yersin  has 
proved,  a  cricket  deprived  of  its  brain  may  copulate  so  long  as 
the  sensory  irritations  can  reach  the  sexual  nervous  centers. 

We  can  thus  say  that  the  mechanism  of  appetites  belongs  to 
automatic  actions  deeply  inherited  by  phylogeny.  Although 
complicated  and  composed  of  coordinated  reflex  movements 
which  follow  one  another  in  regular  succession,  it  has  no  actual 
power  of  modifying  the  so-called  voluntary  acts,  which  depend 
entirely  on  the  cerebral  hemispheres,  and  of  which  we  men  only 
have  a  conscious  feeling.  The  appetites  are  not  capable  of 
adapting  themselves  to  new  circumstances  and  cease  to  be  pro- 
duced when  the  chain  is  interrupted.  We  are  obliged  to  admit 
that  the  instincts  or  appetites  are  accompanied  by  a  sub-con- 
scious introspection  which,  as  such,  can  hardly  enter  into  direct 
relation  with  our  higher  consciousness,  that  is,  with  our  ordinary 
consciousness  in  the  waking  state. 


THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  77 

In  spite  of  this,  when  their  intensity  increases,  the  appetites 
overcoming  the  central  nervous  resistances,  reach  the  cerebral 
hemispheres,  and  consequently  our  introspection  or  higher  con- 
sciousness, under  a  synthetic  or  unified  appearance,  and  influ- 
ence in  a  high  degree  the  cerebral  activities,  which  are  reflected 
in  association  with  all  the  elements  of  what  we  call  our  mind  in 
the  proper  sense  of  the  term,  that  is  to  say,  our  intellect,  senti- 
ments and  will.  It  is  from  this  point  of  view  that  sexual  appe- 
tite must  be  considered  in  order  to  make  it  comprehensible. 
Love,  with  all  that  appertains  to  it,  belongs  as  such  to  our  mind, 
that  is,  to  the  activity  of  our  cerebral  hemispheres,  but  it  is  pro- 
duced there  by  a  secondary  irradiation  from  the  sexual  appetite, 
which  alone  concerns  us  at  present.  We  may  also  remark  that 
sexual  ideas  when  once  awakened  in  the  cerebral  hemispheres  by 
sexual  appetite,  are  worked  up  there  by  the  attention,  that  is 
to  say  by  concentrated  cerebral  activity,  then  associated  with 
other  ideas,  which  on  their  side  react  strongly  on  the  sexual 
appetite,  developing  or  paralyzing  it,  attracting  or  repelling  it, 
or  finally  transforming  its  attributes  and  objects. 

By  sexual  desire  (libido  sexualis)  we  mean  the  manner  in 
which  the  sexual  appetite  manifests  itself  in  man.  Each  term 
may  be  employed  for  the  other. 

The  Sexual  Appetite  in  Man. — Man  represents  the  active  ele- 
ment in  sexual  union,  and  in  him  the  sexual  appetite,  or  desire 
for  coitus,  is  at  first  the  stronger.  This  desire  develops  spon- 
taneously, and  the  role  of  fecundator  represents  the  principal 
male  activity.  This  appetite  powerfully  affects  the  male  mind, 
although  sexual  life  plays  a  less  important  part  in  him  than  in 
the  female. 

In  boys,  the  sexual  appetite  is  often  prematurely  awakened, 
excited  in  unnatural  ways  by  bad  example.  Moreover,  it  varies 
enormously  in  different  individuals,  a  point  to  which  we  shall 
return  when  dealing  with  pathology.  Leaving  aside  unnatural 
appetites  and  abnormal  forms  of  sexual  instinct  we  shall  describe 
here  its  most  spontaneous  and  normal  form. 

Puberty.  Awakening  of  the  Sexual  Instinct  in  Boys. — Sooner 
or  later  in  different  individuals,  the  boy  pays  attention  to  his 
erections,  which  are  at  first  produced  in  a  reflex  and  involun- 


78  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

tary  manner.  Mental  development  and  reflection,  so  precocious  in 
man,  are  causes  which  draw  attention  to  the  differences  of  the 
sexes  before  the  sexual  appetite  is  developed.  It  is,  however, 
the  first  signs  of  this  appetite  which  concentrate  the  attention 
on  these  differences,  for  in  their  absence,  the  boy  is  more  indif- 
ferent to  them  than  to  the  straight  or  crooked  form  of  a  nose. 
Man  has  the  habit  of  passing  by  without  notice  anything  which 
does  not  interest  him,  and  this  is  why  we  find,  in  individuals 
whose  sexual  appetite  is  developed  late  or  feebly,  an  indifference 
and  ignorance  in  these  matters  which  appear  almost  incredible 
to  those  whose  sexual  appetite  is  precocious  and  violent ;  while, 
on  the  contrary,  the  lively  interest  which  the  latter  show  in 
everything  concerning  the  sexes  appears  foolish  and  absurd  to 
the  sexually  indifferent. 

The  pairing  of  animals,  even  of  insects,  awakens  a  curious 
interest  in  those  whose  sexual  dispositions  are  strong  and  pre- 
cocious; they  comprehend  very  quickly  the  reason  and  are  led 
to  draw  analogies  with  their  own  sensations  in  the  same  domain. 
The  aspect  of  the  female  sex  has,  however,  a  much  stronger 
action  still  on  the  normal  man.  But  here  is  produced  a  peculiar 
phenomenon.^'What  especially  excites  the  boy  in  the  aspect 
of  the  female  sex  is  anything  unusual;  the  sight  of  certain 
parts  of  the  skin  which  are  normally  covered,  the  clothes  or 
ornaments,  particular  odors,  w^omen  whom  the  boy  is  not  ac- 
customed to  see,  etc.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  brothers  and 
sisters  do  not  excite,  or  excite  very  little,  their  reciprocal  sexual 
appetite,  at  least  if  there  are  no  anomalies  or  exceptional  exhi- 
bitions. The  sexual  appetites  of  boys  among  savage  peoples 
who  live  naked  is  hardly  at  all  excited  by  naked  girls;  on  the 
other  hand,  it  is  strongly  excited  by  those  who  are  clothed  or 
ornamented  in  a  peculiar  manner.  The  sexual  appetite  of  a 
Mahometan  is  strongly  excited  by  the  nudity  of  the  feminine 
face,  that  of  the  European  by  that  of  a  woman's  legs,  because 
women  are  accustomed  to  veil  their  faces  in  the  first  case  and 
their  legs  in  the  second.  These  are  naturally  only  relative 
differences.  When  the  sexual  appetite  of  man  is  violent  and 
unsatisfied  woman  excites  it  in  a  general  way,  if  she  is  not  too 
old  or  repulsive. 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  79 

A  second  important  character  of  the  normal  sexual  appetite 
is  the  special  attraction  that  appearances  of  health  and  strength 
in  woman  produce  in  man.  Healthy  forms,  normal  odors,  a 
normal  voice,  a  skin  healthy  in  appearance  and  to  the  touch, 
constitute  attractions  which  charm  and  excite  man,  while  all 
that  is  unhealthy  or  faded,  every  pathological  odor,  produce  a 
repulsive  effect  and  hinders  or  diminishes  sexual  desire. 

Everything  connected  with  the  sexual  organs,  their  appear- 
ance, touch  and  odor,  tend  to  excite  the  sexual  appetite,  all  the 
more  when  they  are  usually  covered;  it  is  the  same  with  the^ 
breasts.  ^ 

The  first  sexual  sensations  are  of  a  quite  indeterminate  nature ; 
{something  unconscious  and  obscure  inclines  the  boy  toward  the 
ifemale  sex  and  makes  it  appear  desirable.  A  boy  may  thus 
i  become  enamored  of  the  portrait  of  a  woman  with  a  swelling 
bosom  and  alluring  eyes  and  be  seized  with  desire,  either  at 
their  sight  or  only  on  remembrance.  This  desire  is  not  concen- 
trated especially  on  the  sexual  act,  as  with  an  adult  who  is  already 
experienced  in  these  matters;  it  is  more  generalized  and  vague, 
although  sensual. 

For  a  long  time,  these  repeated  aspirations,  impulses  and 
desires,  remain  unsatisfied.  In  different  individuals  the  imagi- 
nation associates  the  most  diverse  images  with  such  manifesta- 
tions of  the  sexual  appetite.  The  objects  of  the  latter  appear 
I  in  dreams  and  provoke  nocturnal  erections.  The  boy  soon 
remarks  a  sensory  localization  of  his  appetites  in  his  sexual 
1  organs,  especially  in  the  glans  penis,  but  also  in  the  surrounding 
parts,  and  the  known  or  only  vaguely  defined  image  of  the  female 
'  sexual  organs,  which  is  hardly  present  at  the  first  appearance  of 
'  his  desires,  begin  to  excite  him  more  and  more. 

In  natural  or  savage  man,  as  well  as  in  animals,  the  boy  then 

i  makes  attempts  at  coitus  and  soon   attains  his  object,  for,  in 

the  state  of  nature,  man  marries  as  soon  as  puberty  is  attained. 

Nocturnal  Emissions. — In  civilized  man  such  difficulties  are 

'  opposed  to  marriage,  that  he  replaces  it  by  prostitution,  or  by 

!more  or  less  unnatural  means,  as  soon  as  his  sexual  appetite 

!  becomes  strong.     In  those  who  abstain,  the  images  produced  by 

sexual  excitation,  combined  with  erections,  act  more  strongly 


80  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

during  sleep  than  waking  and  produce  ejaculations  of  semen 
called  nocturnal  emissions  or  pollutions.  These  generally  occur 
during  erotic  dreams,  and  as  the  dreams  produce  the  illusion  of 
real  perception,  in  quality  as  well  as  in  intensity,  it  is  not  sur- 
prising that  they  are  followed  by  an  orgasm  and  ejaculation  of 
semen. 

Masturbation. — In  the  waking  state  the  unsatisfied  sexual 
appetite  may  produce  such  excitation  that  the  boy  applies  fric- 
tion to  the  glans  penis,  which  cause  voluptuous  sensations.  As 
soon  as  he  has  made  this  discovery  he  repeats  the  act  and  pro- 
vokes ejaculation  of  semen  artificially.  Thus  arises  the  bad 
habit  of  masturbation  or  onanism,  a  habit  which  is  both  de- 
pressing and  exhausting,  which  takes  an  increasing  hold  on 
those  who  practice  it.  Although  from  the  purely  mechanical 
point  of  view  masturbation  causes  a  more  normal  ejaculation 
than  nocturnal  emissions,  which  are  often  interrupted  by  awak- 
ening and  the  vanishing  of  the  dream  which  produced  them,  it 
has  a  much  more  harmful  effect,  by  its  frequency  and  especially 
by  its  depressing  action  on  sentiment  and  will.  We  shall  return 
to  this  subject  in  Chapter  VIII. 

The  accumulation  of  semen  in  the  seminal  vesicles  strongly 
excites  the  sexual  appetite  of  man,  and  he  is  momentarily  satis- 
fied by  their  evacuation.  But  we  shall  soon  see  that  this  purely 
organic  or  mechanical  excitation,  which  seems  at  first  to  be  only 
adapted  for  natural  wants,  does  not  in  man  play  the  principal 
role.  We  can  easily  understand  that  it  cannot  be  the  principal 
moving  power  of  the  sexual  act.  In  fact,  for  any  of  the  animals 
in  which  copulation  occurs,  the  possibility  of  accomplishing  this 
is  not  connected  solely  with  the  accumulation  of  semen,  for  it 
depends  on  obtaining  a  female.  It  is  necessary,  therefore,  for 
the  accumulated  semen  to  wait,  and  for  the  perception  of  the 
female  by  the  aid  of  the  senses  to  excite  the  male  to  coitus. 

External  Signs  of  the  Sexual  Appetite. — Like  every  other  desire 
the  sexual  appetite  betrays  itself  by  the  physionomy.  This 
consists  in  the  play  of  cerebral  activity,  that  is  the  thoughts, 
sentiments  -and  resolutions,  on  the  muscles  by  means  of  motor 
nerves  and  nerve  centers.  It  is  not  limited  to  the  face  but  ex- 
tends to  the  whole  body.     The  abdomen,  the  hands  and  even 


THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  81 

the  feet  have  their  physionomy;  that  of  the  muscles  of  the  face 

and  eyes  is,  however,  the  most  active  and  most  expressive. 

Sexual  desire  betrays  itself  in  looks,  by  the  expression  of  the 

face  and  by  certain  movements  in  the  presence  of  the  female 

sex.    Men  differ  greatly  in  the  way  in  which  they  betray  or 

,  hide  their  sentiments  and  thoughts  by  the  play  of  their  muscles, 

t  so  that  the  inner  self  is  not  always  reflected  without.     Moreover, 

i  the  expression  of  sexual  desire  by  the  play  of  the  physionomy 

may  be  confounded  with  that  of  other  sentiments,  so  that  one 

who  appears  libidinous  is  not  always  so  in  reality,  and  inversely. 

Continence  in  Man. — Abstinence  or  sexual  continence  is  by 

;  no  means  impracticable  for  a  normal  young  man  of  average  con- 

j  stitution,  assiduous  in  intellectual  and  physical  work,  abstaining 

I  from  all  artificial  excitations,  especially  from  all  narcotics  and 

I  alcohol  in  particular,  for  these  substances  paralyze  the  judg- 

:  ment  and  will.     When  sexual  maturity  is  complete,  that  is  after 

.about  twenty  years,  continence  is  usually  facilitated  by  noc- 

jturnal  emissions  accompanied  by  corresponding  dreams.     The 

'  health  does  not  suffer  from  these  in  any  way.     However,  in  the 

long  run  this  state  cannot  be  considered  as  normal,  especially 

I  when  there  is  no  hope  of  it  coming  to  an  end  in  a  reasonable 

[time.    What  is  much  more  abnormal  are  the  numerous  artificial 

[sexual  excitations  that  civilization  brings  with  it. 

Sexual  Power. — The  individual  variations  in  the  sexual  in- 
stinct are  enormous,  and  may  be  said  to  vaiy  from  zero  to  an 
intense  and  perpetual  excitation  called  Satyriasis.     By  sexual 
;  power  is  understood  the  faculty  of  accomplishing  coitus.    This 
;  power  in  the  first  place  requires  strong  and  complete  erections, 
'as  well  as  the  faculty  of  following  them  by  frequent  seminal 
'  ejaculations,  without  being  precipitate.    Impotence  or  incapac- 
ity for  coitus  belongs  to  pathology  and  consists  usually  in  the 
'  absence  or  defectiveness  of  erections.    Sexual  power  and  appe- 
tite generally  go  together,  but  not  always,  for  it  is  possible  to 
;be  powerful  with  feeble  sexual  appetite,  and  intense  appetite 
j  sometimes  goes  with  impotence;   the  latter  condition,  it  is  true, 
is  pathological.    Sexual  power  also  varies  so  much  in  individuals 
that  it  is  hardly  possible  to  fix  a  limit  between  the  normal  and 
the  pathological, 


82  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  sexual  power  and  appetite  in  man  are  strongest  on  the 
average  between  20  and  40  years,  especially  between  25  and 
35.  But,  while  young  men  of  18  to  20  years  or  more  may  be 
still  tranquil,  without  having  had  seminal  ejaculations,  one  often 
finds,  among  races  who  mature  earlier,  boys  of  12  or  16  who  are 
fully  developed  both  in  sexual  power  and  appetite.  In  our 
Aryan  races,  however,  when  this  occurs  before  the  age  of  14, 
it  is  a  case  of  pathological  precocity.  The  late  appearance  of 
sexual  power  and  appetite  is  rather  a  sign  of  strength  and 
health. 

After  the  age  of  40,  the  sexual  power  slowly  diminishes,  and 
after  the  seventieth  year,  or  even  before  this,  becomes  extinct. 
Exceptionally  one  finds  old  men  of  80  who  are  still  capable. 
Normally  the  sexual  appetite  diminishes  with  age;  often,  how- 
ever, especially  when  it  is  artificially  excited,  it  lasts  longer  than 
sexual  power. 

As  regards  sexual  power  we  must  distinguish  between  that  of 
copulation  and  that  of  fecundation.  The  power  may  exist  with- 
out the  latter,  when  the  testicles  have  ceased  to  functionate, 
while  the  other  glands,  in  particular  the  prostate,  second  the 
venereal  orgasm  by  their  secretion,  when  the  power  of  erection 
is  still  preserved.  Inversely,  the  testicles  may  contain  healthy 
spermatozoa  in  the  impotent.  In  this  case  artificial  fecunda- 
tion by  the  syringe  is  practicable. 

Individual  Variations  in  Sexual  Power. — The  fact  that  there 
are  men  who  for  several  years  can  copulate  several  times  a  day 
proves  to  what  extent  sexual  power  varies  in  man.  Sexual 
excitation  and  desire  may  sometimes  attain  such  a  degree  that 
they  are  repeated  a  few  minutes  after  ejaculation.  It  is  not 
rare  for  a  man  to  perform  coitus  ten  or  fifteen  times  in  a  single 
night,  in  brothels  and  elsewhere,  although  such  excess  borders 
on  the  domain  of  pathology.  I  know  a  case  in  which  coitus 
was  performed  thirty  times.  I  was  once  consulted  by  an  old 
woman  of  65  who  complained  of  the  insatiable  sexual  appetite 
of  her  husband,  aged  73!  He  awakened  her  every  morning  at 
three  o'clock  to  have  connection,  before  going  to  work.  Not 
content  ^dth  this,  he  repeated  the  performance  every  evening 
and  often  also  after  the  mid-day  meal.     Inversely,  I  have  seen 


THE    SEXUAL   APPETITE  83 

healthy  looking  husbands,  at  the  age  of  greatest  sexual  power, 
accuse  themselves  of  excess  for  having  cohabited  with  their 
wives  once  a  month  or  less.  The  reformer,  Luther,  who  was  a 
practical  man,  laid  down  the  average  rule  of  two  or  three  con- 
nections a  week  in  marriage,  at  the  time  of  highest  sexual  power. 
I  may  say  that  my  numerous  observations  as  a  physician  have 
generally  confirmed  this  rule,  which  seems  to  me  to  conform 
very  well  to  the  normal  state  to  which  man  has  become  gradually 
adapted  during  thousands  of  years. 

Husbands  who  would  consider  this  average  as  an  imprescripti- 
ble right  would,  however,  make  wrong  pretensions,  for  it  is 
quite  possible  for  a  normal  man  to  contain  himself  much  longer, 
and  it  is  his  duty  to  do  so,  not  only  when  his  wife  is  ill,  but  also 
during  menstruation  and  pregnancy. 

The  question  of  sexual  relations  during  pregnancy  is  more 
difficult,  on  account  of  its  long  duration.  In  this  case  caution 
is  necessary,  but  total  abstinence  from  sexual  connection  is,  in 
my  opinion,  superfluous.  ^ 

The  Desire  of  Change  in  Man. — A  peculiarity  of  the  sexual 
appetite  in  man,  which  is  fatal  for  society,  is  his  desire  for 
change.  This  desire  is  not  only  one  of  the  principal  causes  of 
polygamy,  but  also  of  prostitution  and  other  analogous  organ- 
izations. It  arises  from  the  want  of  sexual  attraction  in  what 
one  is  accustomed  to  and  from  the  stronger  excitation  produced 
by  all  that  is  new;  a  phenomenon  of  which  we  have  spoken 
above.  On  the  average,  woman  has  a  hereditary  disposition 
which  is  much  more  monogamous  than  man.  The  sexual  ap- 
petite thus  loses  its  intensity  from  the  prolonged  habit  of  con- 
nection with  the  same  woman,  but,  becomes  much  more  intense 
with  other  women,  if  not  in  all  men  at  any  rate  in  most.  Such 
desires  may  generally  be  overcome  by  the  aid  of  a  true  and 
noble  love,  and  by  sentiments  of  duty  and  fidelity  toward  the 
family  and  toward  a  respected  wife.  We  cannot,  however, 
deny  that  they  exist,  nor  that  they  are  the  cause  of  the  worst 
excesses,  and  the  most  violent  scenes,  often  with  a  tragic  result. 
We  shall  return  to  this  subject  later. 

Excitation  and  Cooling  of  the  Sexual  Appetite. — Without  touch- 
ing the  domain  of  pathology,  I  must  again  dwell  on  the  great 


84  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

individual  diversity  of  the  objects  of  the  male  sexual  appetite. 
It  is  usually  young  but  mature  female  forms  of  healthy  appear- 
ance, and  especially  the  sight  of  the  nudity  of  certain  parts  of 
the  body  which  are  usually  covered,  particularly  the  breasts  and 
sexual  organs,  which  most  strongly  excite  the  sexual  appetite  in 
man.  It  is  the  same  with  the  corresponding  odors.  The  voice, 
the  physionomy,  the  clothing  and  many  other  details  may  also 
provoke  his  desires.  There  are,  however,  men  who  are  more 
expited  by  thin  and  pale  women. 

/Certain  attributes  excite  one  and  not  another;  for  instance, 
the  hair,  certain  odors,  certain  forms  of  face,  a  certain  fashion 
of  clothing,  the  form  of  the  breasts,  etc.  The  peculiarities, 
which  are  absent  in  women  with  whom  a  man  has  been  on  familiar 
terms  in  his  youth  are  generally  those  which  attract  the  most.  ! 
In  sexual  matters  contrasts  tend  to  mutual  attraction.  Thin 
people  often  become  enamored  of  fat,  short  ones  of  long  ones, 
and  inversely.  One  cannot,  however,  fix  any  rules.  One  often 
sees  young  men  excited  at  the  sight  of  women  of  older  age,  and 
old  men  enamored  of  very  young  women,  even  of  children.  All 
these  discrepancies  constitute  the  more  important  points  of 
origin  of  sexual  pathology.  In  spite  of  all,  there  still  exist  a 
gi-eat  number  of  tranquil  men  with  monogamous  instincts  and 
not  fond  of  change.  Lastly,  we  must  not  forget  that  super- 
abundant feeding  and  idleness  exalt  the  sexual  appetite  and 
tend  to  polygamy,  while  hard  work,  especially  physical,  and 
frugal  diet  diminish  it. 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  the  mental  qualities  react  power- 
fully on  the  sexual  appetite.  A  quarrelsome  temper,  coldness 
and  repulsion  on  the  part  of  a  woman  cool  the  desires  of  the 
man,  while  an  ardent  sexual  desire  on  the  part  of  the  woman, 
her  love  and  tenderness,  tend  to  increase  and  maintain  them. 
We  are  dealing  here  with  purely  animal  sexual  instinct,  and  we 
may  state  that  the  sexual  appetite  of  woman  generally  excites 
strongly  that  of  man,  and  considerably  increases  his  pleasure 
dui'ing  coitus.  There  are,  however,  exceptions  in  the  inverse 
sense,  in  which  coldness  and  disgust  on  the  part  of  the  woman 
excite  the  passion  of  certain  men,  who  have,  however,  no  taste 
foi-  libidinous  women.     All  degrees  are  found  in  this  domaim^jj? 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  85 

Active  in  the  sexual  act  the  man  desires  corresponding  senti- 
ments in  the  woman.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  all  want  of 
natural  reserve,  and  delicate  sentiment,  and  all  cynical  sexual 
provocation  on  the  part  of  a  woman,  produce  in  the  normal 
man  a  repulsive  effect.  The  normal  woman  possesses  an  ad- 
mirable instinct  in  these  matters  and  knows  how  to  betray  her 
feelings  in  a  sufficiently  fine  and  delicate  manner,  so  as  not  to 
hurt  those  of  the  man. 

A  phenomenon,  which  we  shall  meet  with  in  Chapter  VIII, 
under  the  name  of  psychic  impotence,  shows  the  powerful  and 
disturbing  interference  of  thoughts  on  the  automatic  action  of 
instinctive  sexual  activity.  A  momentary  psychic  impotence 
is  not  necessarily  pathological.  While  voluptuous  sensations 
alternate  during  coitus  with  desire  and  corresponding  erotic 
representations,  a  sudden  idea  of  the  ridiculousness  of  the  situa- 
tion, signs  of  pain  or  of  bad  temper  in  the  woman,  the  idea  of 
impotence  or  of  the  real  object  of  coitus;  finally, anything  which 
acts  as  a  contrast  to  the  sensations  and  impulses  of  coitus,  may 
interrupt  it,  so  that  the  voluptuous  sensations  and  sexual  appe- 
tite disappear  and  erection  subsides.  Voluntary  efforts  are  often 
incapable  of  putting  things  right  again.  The  charm  is  broken, 
and  only  new  images  and  new  sentiments  associated  instinctively 
with  the  sexual  appetite  can  be  reestablished,  by  making  the  sub- 
conscious state  preponderate  over  the  reasoning  consciousness. 

Influence  of  Modern  Civilization.  Pornography. — Human  sex- 
uality has  been  unfortunately  perverted  and  in  part  grossly 
altered  by  civilization,  which  has  even  developed  it  artificially 
in  a  pathological  sense.  The  point  has  been  reached  of  con- 
sidering as  normal,  relations  which  are  in  reality  absolutely 
abnormal.  For  example,  it  is  maintained  that  prostitution  pro- . 
duces  normal  coitus  in  man.  How  can  this  term  be  seriously 
employed  in  speaking  of  connection  with  a  prostitute  who  is 
absolutely  indifferent  to  it,  and  who  seeks  only  to  excite  her 
clients  artificially  and  to  get  their  money,  without  mentioning 
venereal  diseases  which  she  so  often  presents  them  with!  For- 
getful of  the  natural  aim  of  the  sexual  appetite,  civilization  has 
transformed  it  into  artificial  enjoyment,  and  has  invented  all 
possible  means  to  increase  and  diversify  it. 


86  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

As  far  back  as  the  history  of  civilization  goes  we  see  this  state 
of  affairs,  and  in  this  sense  we  are  neither  better  nor  worse  than 
our  ancestors.  But  we  possess  more  diverse  and  more  refined 
measures  than  barbarian  peoples,  and  than  our  direct  ances- 
tors, to  satisfy  our  unwholesome  desires.  Modern  art  in  par- 
ticular often  serves  to  excite  eroticism,  and  we  must  frankly 
admit  that  it  often  descends  to  the  level  of  pornography.  Hypo- 
critical indignation  against  those  who  dare  to  say  this  often 
serves  only  to  cover  in  the  name  of  art  the  most  indecent  excit- 
ants of  eroticism. 

Photography  and  all  the  perfected  methods  of  reproduction  of 
pictures,  the  increasing  means  of  travel  which  facilitate  clan- 
destine sexual  relations,  the  industrial  art  which  ornaments  our 
apartments,  the  increasing  luxury  and  comfort  of  dwellings, 
beds,  etc.,  are,  at  the  present  day,  so  many  factors  in  the  science 
of  erotic  voluptuousness.  Prostitution  itself  has  become  adapted 
to  all  the  pathological  excrescences  of  vice.  In  a  word,  the  arti- 
ficial culture  of  the  human  sexual  appetite  has  given  rise  to  a 
veritable  high  school  of  debauchery.  The  artistic  and  realistic 
representations  of  erotic  sexual  scenes,  so  widespread  at  the 
present  day,  are  much  more  capable  of  exciting  the  sexual 
appetite  than  the  crude  and  unnatural  pictures  of  former  days, 
when,  however,  erotic  objects  of  art  generally  belonged  to  a  few 
rich  persons  or  to  museums. 

Influence  of  Repeated  Sexual  Excitations. — The  artificial  and 
varied  repetition  of  sexual  excitation,  by  means  of  objects  which 
provoke  it,  increases  the  sexual  appetite.  This  cannot  be 
doubted,  for  the  law  of  exercise  is  a  general  truth  in  the  physiol- 
ogy of  the  nervous  system.  This  law,  which  is  also  called  the 
law  of  training,  shows  that  every  kind  of  nervous  acti\'ity  is 
increased  by  exercise.  A  man  becomes  a  glutton  by  accustom- 
ing himself  to  eat  too  much,  a  good  walker  by  exercising  his  legs. 
The  habit  of  wearing  fine  clothes  or  of  washing  in  cold  water 
causes  these  things  to  become  a  necessity.  By  continually  occu- 
pying om'selves  with  a  certain  thing,  we  take  a  liking  for  it  and 
often  become  virtuosos.  By  always  thinking  of  a  disease  we  are  led 
to  imagine  that  we  suffer  from  it.  A  melody  too  often  repeated 
often  becomes  automatic  and  we  whistle  or  hum  it  unconsciously. 


THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  87 

Inversely,  inactivity  weakens  the  effect  of  irritations  which 
correspond  to  it.  By  neglecting  certain  activities  or  the  provo- 
cation of  certain  sensations,  these  diminish  in  intensity,  and  we 
cease  more  and  more  to  be  affected  by  them.  We  become  idle 
when  we  are  inactive,  for  the  cerebral  resistance  accumulates, 
and  idleness  renders  the  renewal  of  the  corresponding  activity 
more  difficult.  It  is  not  surprising,  therefore,  to  find  this  law 
in  the  phenomena  of  the  sexual  appetite,  which  diminishes  with 
abstinence  and  increases  with  repeated  excitation  and  satis- 
faction. However,  another  force,  that  of  the  accumulation  of 
semen  in  the  seminal  vesicles,  associated  with  an  old  natural 
inherited  instinct,  often  counteracts  the  law  of  exercise  of  the 
nervous  system,  as  the  empty  stomach  excites  the  instinct  of  nutri- 
tion. But,  however  imperious  the  hunger,  and  however  indis- 
pensable its  satisfaction  for  the  maintenance  of  life,  this  does  not 
impair  the  truth  of  the  old  saying,  ''Appetite  comes  by  eating." 

The  exaggerated  desire  for  sleep  experienced  by  idle  people 
is  an  analogous  phenomenon.  Although  sufficient  sleep  is  a 
necessity  for  healthy  and  productive  cerebral  activity,  an  exag- 
gerated desire  for  sleep  may  be  artificially  developed. 

These  phenomena  are  of  fundamental  importance  in  the  ques- 
tion of  the  sexual  appetite.  Here,  the  well-known  axiom  of 
moderation  which  says,  "Abuse  does  not  exclude  use"  finds  its 
application.  An  English  commentator  on  Cicero  erroneously 
attributes  to  him  the  following:  "True  moderation  consists  in 
the  absolute  domination  of  the  passions  and  appetites,  as  well 
as  all  wrong  desires,  by  reason.  It  exacts  total  abstinence  from 
all  things  which  are  not  good  and  which  are  not  of  an  absolutely 
innocent  character."  This  definition  is  excellent,  although  it  is 
not  Cicero's.  It  excludes,  for  example,  the  use  of  a  toxic  sub- 
stance such  as  alcohol,  which  is  not  a  natural  food,  but  not  the 
moderate  satisfaction  of  the  sexual  appetite  which  is  normally 
intended  for  the  preservation  of  the  species,  for  this  satisfaction 
may  be  good  or  bad,  normal  or  vicious,  innocent  or  criminal, 
according  to  circumstances.  In  this  connection,  the  application 
of  the  right  measure,  and  choice  of  the  appropriate  object  raise 
delicate  and  complicated  questions.  So-called  moral  sermons 
lead  to  nothing  in  this  domain. 


88  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

After  numerous  personal  observations  made  on  very  diverse 
individuals  who  have  consulted  me  with  regard  to  sexual  ques- 
tions, I  think  I  can  affii'm  that  when  a  man  wishes  to  be  loyal  to 
himself  he  is  generally  able  to  distinguish  between  natural 
desire  and  artificial  excitation  of  the  sexual  appetite.  To  be 
pursued  and  tormented  by  sexual  images  and  desires,  even  when 
striving  against  them,  and  when  the  legitimate  and  normal  occa- 
sion to  satisfy  them  is  absent,  is  not  the  same  thing  as  to  pass 
the  time  in  inventing  means  of  artificial  excitement  to  pleasure 
and  orgy  while  leading  an  idle  and  egoistic 'life.  I  speak  here 
of  the  normal  man  and  not  of  certain  pathological  states  in  which 
the  sexual  appetite  takes  the  character  of  a  perpetual  obsession, 
even  against  the  will  of  the  patient.  By  serious  and  persevering 
work  and  by  avoiding  all  means  of  excitation,  the  sexual  appetite 
can  usually  be  kept  within  the  bounds  of  moderation. 

We  have  mentioned  above  pornographic  art  as  one  of  the 
means  which  artificially  excite  the  sexual  appetite.  Along  with 
the  interested  exploitation  of  the  habit  of  taking  alcoholic 
drinks,  exploitation  of  the  sexual  appetite  constitutes  one  of  the 
largest  fields  of  what  may  be  called  social  brigandage.  Besides 
pornographic  pictures,  the  principal  means  employed  to  artifi- 
cially excite  the  sexual  weaknesses  of  man  are  the  following: 

Pornographic  novels  in  which  sexual  desire  is  excited  by  all 
the  artifice  of  the  novelist,  and  in  which  the  illustrations  often 
rival  those  we  have  just  spoken  of  to  seduce  the  purchaser. 

Alcohol  which,  by  paralyzing  the  judgment  and  will  as  well 
as  moral  inhibitory  sentiments,  excites  the  sexual  appetite  and 
renders  it  grossly  impulsive.  Its  first  fumes  make  man  enter- 
prising, and  he  falls  an  easy  prey  to  proxenetism  and  prostitu- 
tion, although  it  soon  weakens  the  sexual  power. 

But  it  is  the  modern  arsenal  of  prostitution  which  plays  the 
principal  role.  The  proxenets  (pimps)  exploit  both  the  sexual 
appetites  of  men  and  the  weakness  and  venality  of  women. 
Their  chief  source  of  gain  consisting  in  the  artificial  excitation  of 
the  male  sexual  appetite  by  all  possible  means,  their  art  consists 
in  dressing  their  merchandise,  the  prostitutes,  with  attractive 
refinement,  especially  when  dealing  Avith  rich  clients  who  pay 
well.     It  is  on  this  soU  that  are  cultivated  the  most  disgusting 


i 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  89 

artifices,  intended  to  excite  even  the  most  pathological  appe- 
tites. 

Other  causes  are  added  to  lucre,  or  are  the  consequences  of  it. 
A  boy  led  to  masturbation  by  pornographic  pictures,  or  by  the 
seduction  of  a  corrupted  individual,  becomes  in  his  turn  the 
seducer  of  his  comrades.  Certain  libidinous  and  unscrupulous 
women  have  often  persuaded  adolescents  and  schoolboys  to 
sleep  with  them,  thus  awakening  precocious  and  unhealthy 
sexual  appetites. 

Such  habits  which  excite  the  sexual  appetite  and  cause  it  to 
degenerate  artificially,  develop  in  their  turn  a  mode  of  sexual 
boasting  in  men,  the  effects  of  which  are  deplorable.  To  appear 
manly,  the  boy  thinks  he  ought  to  have  a  cigar  in  his  mouth, 
even  if  it  makes  him  sick.  In  the  same  way  the  spirit  of  imita- 
tion leads  youth  to  prostitution.  The  fear  of  not  doing  as  the 
others  and  especially  the  terror  of  ridicule  constitute  a  powerful 
lever  which  is  abused  and  exploited.  Fearing  mockery,  a  youth 
is  the  more  easily  seduced  by  bad  example  the  less  he  is  put  on 
guard  by  parents  or  true  friends.  Instead  of  explaining  to  him 
in  time,  seriously  and  affectionately,  the  nature  of  sexual  con- 
nection, its  effects  and  dangers,  he  is  abandoned  to  the  chance 
of  the  worst  seductions. 

In  this  way  the  sexual  appetite  is  not  only  artificially  increased 
and  often  directed  into  unnatural  channels,  but  also  leads  to  the 
poisoning  and  ruin  of  youth  by  venereal  diseases,  to  say  nothing 
of  alcoholism. 

We  have  referred  especially  to  educated  youth,  but  the  youth 
of  the  lower  classes  are  perhaps  in  a  still  worse  condition,  owing 
to  the  promiscuity  of  their  life  in  miserable  dwellings.  They 
often  witness  coitus  between  their  parents,  or  are  themselves 
trained  in  evil  ways  for  purposes  of  exploitation. 

It  is  astonishing  that  the  results  of  such  abominable  deviation 
of  the  sexual  appetite  are  not  worse.  No  doubt  excesses  dis- 
turb the  ties  of  marriage  and  of  the  family,  and  often  provoke 
impotence  and  other  disorders  of  the  sexual  functions.  It  must, 
however,  be  admitted  that  their  satellites,  the  venereal  diseases, 
and  their  most  common  companion,  alcoholism,  are  in  reality 
the  greatest  destroyers  of  health,  and  make  much  more  consid- 


90  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

erable  ravages  in  society  than  the  artificial  increase  and  abnor- 
mal deviations  of  the  sexual  appetite  itself.  However,  the  latter 
by  themselves  very  often  poison  the  mind  and  social  morality, 
as  we  shall  have  occasion  to  see. 

Immoderate  sexual  desire,  provoked  in  men  by  the  artificial 
excitations  of  prostitution,  etc.,  is  a  bad  acquisition.  It  renders 
difl&cult  the  accustomance  to  marriage,  fidelity  and  ideal  and 
life-long  love  for  the  same  woman.  It  is  true,  that  many  old 
roues  and  habitues  of  brothels  later  on  become  faithful  hus- 
bands and  fathers,  especially  when  they  have  had  the  luck  to 
escape  venereal  disease. 

But  whoever  looks  behind  the  scenes  may  soon  convince  him- 
self that  the  happiness  of  most  unions  of  this  kind  is  very  rela- 
tive. The  degradation  of  the  sexual  sentiment  of  a  man  who 
has  long  been  accustomed  to  live  with  prostitutes  is  never 
entirely  effaced,  and  generally  leaves  indelible  traces  in  the 
human  brain. 

I  readily  admit  that  a  man  ^dth  good  hereditary  dispositions, 
who  has  only  yielded  for  a  short  time  to  seductive  influences, 
may  be  reformed  by  a  true  and  profound  love.  But  even  in 
him,  excesses  leave  traces  which  later  on  may  easily  lead  him 
astray  when  he  becomes  tired  of  the  monotony  of  conjugal 
relations  with  the  same  woman.  On  the  other  hand,  we  must 
also  recognize  that  sexual  relations  in  themselves,  even  in  mar- 
riage, create  a  habit  which  often  urges  a  married  man  to  extra- 
nuptial  coitus,  even  when  he  had  remained  continent  before 
marriage. 

The  tricks  which  are  played  on  a  man  by  his  sexual  appetite, 
especially  by  his  polygamous  instincts,  must  not,  however,  be 
confounded  with  the  systematic,  artificial  and  abnormal  train- 
ing of  the  same  appetite.  The  physical  and  psycliic  attractions 
of  a  woman  are  capable  of  completely  diverting  the  sexual 
desires  of  a  man  from  their  primary  object,  and  of  directing  them 
on  the  siren  who  captivates  his  senses.  The  elements  of  the 
sexual  appetite  here  form  an  inextricable  mixture  with  those 
of  love,  and  constitute  the  inexhaustible  theme  of  novels  and 
most  true  and  sensational  love  stories. 

Hereditary  pathological  dispositions  play  a  considerable  role 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  91 

in  many  cases  of  this  kind.  Also,  marriages  of  sudden  and 
passionate  love  (we  are  not  dealing  here  with  love  marriages 
concluded  after  sufficient  reflection  and  deep  mutual  acquaint- 
anceship) are  not  more  stable  than  the  so-called  "mariages  de 
convenance,"  for  passionate  natures,  usually  more  or  less  patho- 
logical, are  apt  to  fall  from  one  extreme  to  the  other.  The 
power  exercised  by  sexual  passion  in  such  cases  is  terrible.  It 
produces  conditions  that  may  lead  to  suicide  or  assassination. 
In  men  whose  power  of  reason  is  neither  strong  nor  independent, 
opinions  and  conceptions  are  frequently  changed;  love  may 
change  to  hatred  and  hatred  to  love,  the  sentiment  of  justice 
may  lead  to  injustice,  the  loyal  man  may  become  a  liar,  etc.  In 
fact  the  sexual  appetite  is  let  loose  like  a  hurricane  in  the  brain 
and  becomes  the  despot  of  the  whole  mind.  The  sexual  passion 
has  often  been  compared  to  drunkenness  or  to  mental  disease. 
Even  in  its  mildest  forms  it  often  renders  the  husband  incapable 
of  sexual  connection  with  his  wife. 

For  example,  a  man  may  cherish,  respect  and  even  adore  his 
wife,  and  yet  her  presence  and  touch  may  not  appeal  to  his 
senses,  nor  excite  his  appetite  or  erection;  while  some  low- 
minded  woman  will  produce  in  him  an  irresistible  sensual  attrac- 
tion, even  when  he  experiences  neither  esteem  nor  love  for  her. 
In  such  cases  sexual  appetite  is  in  more  or  less  radical  opposition 
to  love.  Such  extreme  phenomena  are  not  rare,  but  hardly 
common.  Although  excited  to  coitus  with  the  woman  in  question, 
the  husband  would  not  in  any  case  have  her  for  wife,  nor  even 
have  children  by  her,  for  after  the  slightest  reflection  he  despises 
and  fears  her.  Here,  the  sexual  appetite  represents  the  old 
atavistic  animal  instinct,  attracted  by  libidinous  looks,  exu- 
berant charms,  in  a  word  by  the  sensual  aspect  of  woman. 

On  the  contrary,  in  a  higher  domain  of  the  human  mind,  the 
sentiments  of  sympathy  of  true  love,  deeply  associated  with 
fidelity,  and  with  intellectual  and  moral  intimacy,  unite  against 
the  elementary  power  of  the  animal  instinct.  Here  we  see 
dwelling  in  the  same  breast  (or,  to  speak  more  correctly,  in  the 
same  central  nervous  system)  two  souls,  which  struggle  "\Adth 
each  other. 

We  are  not  dealing  here  with  cases  in  which  a  new  passion 


92  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

arrives  to  turn  the  man  from  his  old  affection.  No  doubt  the 
extreme  cases  of  which  we  have  spoken  are  not  usual,  but  we  see 
in  most  men  more  or  less  considerable  mixtures  of  analogous 
sentiments  in  all  possible  degrees,  especially  when  the  woman 
loved  loses  her  physical  attractions  from  age  or  other  causes. 

The  Procreative  Instinct. — The  sexual  appetite  of  man  does 
not  consist  exclusively  in  the  desire  for  coitus.  In  many  cases 
it  is  combined,  more  or  less  strongly  and  more  or  less  consciously, 
with  the  desire  to  procreate  children.  Unfortunately,  this  desire 
is  far  from  being  always  associated  with  higher  sentiments  and 
with  love  of  children  or  the  paternal  instinct.  In  fact,  con- 
scious reasoning  plays  a  smaller  part  than  the  animal  instinct 
of  self-expansion.  We  shall  see  later  on  that  the  procreative 
instinct  often  plays  an  important  role  in  our  present  civilization. 

The  Sexual  Appetite  in  Woman. — In  the  sexual  act  the  role  of 
the  woman  differs  from  that  of  the  man  not  only  by  being  pas- 
sive, but  also  by  the  absence  of  seminal  ejaculations.  In  spite 
of  this  the  analogies  are  considerable.  The  erection  of  the  clitoris 
and  its  voluptuous  sensations,  the  secretion  from  the  glands  of 
Bartholin  which  resembles  ejaculation  in  the  male,  the  venereal 
orgasm  itself  which  often  exceeds  in  intensity  that  of  man,  are 
phenomena  which  establish  harmony  in  sexual  connection. 

Although  the  organic  phenomenon  of  the  accumulation  of 
semen  in  the  seminal  vesicles  is  absent  in  w^oman,  there  is  pro-  i 
duced  in  the  nerve  centers,  after  prolonged  abstinence,  an  accu-  I 
mulation  of  sexual  desire  corresponding  to  that  of  man.     A  { 
married  woman  confessed  to  me,  w'hen  I  reproached  her  for  be-  I 
ing  unfaithful  to  her  husband,  that  she  desired  coitus  at  least 
once  a  fortnight,  and  that  w^hen  her  husband  was  not  there,  she 
took  the  first  comer.     No  doubt  the  sentiments  of  this  woman 
were  hardly  feminine,  but  her  sexual  appetite  w^as  relatively  ' 
normal. 

Frequency  of  the  Seyual  Appetite  in  Woman. — As  regards  ' 
pure  sexual  appetite,  extremes  are  much  more  common  and 
more  considerable  in  woman  than  in  man.  In  her  this  appetite 
is  developed  much  less  often  spontaneously  than  in  him,  and 
where  it  is  so,  it  is  generally  later.  Voluptuous  sensations  are 
usually  only  awakened  by  coitus. 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  93 

In  a  considerable  number  of  women  the  sexual  appetite  is 
completely  absent.     For  these,  coitus  is  a  disagi'eeable,  often 
disgusting,  or  at  any  rate  an  indifferent  act.  What  is  more  singu- 
lar, at  least  for  masculine  comprehension,  and  what  gives  rise 
to  the  most  frequent  "quid  pro  quos,"  is  the  fact  that  such 
women,  absolutely  cold  as  regards  sexual  sensations,  are  often 
great  coquettes,  over-exciting  the  sexual  appetites  of  man,  and 
have  often  a  great  desire  for  love  and  caresses.    This  is  more 
easy  to  understand  if  we  reflect  that  the  unsatiated  desires  of 
the  normal  woman  are  less  inclined  toward  coitus  than  toward 
the  assemblage  of  consequences  of  this  act,  which  are  so  im- 
portant for  her  whole  life.    When  the  sight  of  a  certain  man 
I  awakes  in   a   young  girl  sympathetic  desires  and  transports, 
^she  aspires  to  procreate  children  with  this  man  only,  to  give 
herself  to  him  as  a  slave,  to  receive  his  caresses,  to  be  loved  by 
him  only,  that  he  may  become  both  the  support  and  master  of 
her  whole  life.     It  is  a  question  of  general  sentiments  of  indefi- 
i  nite  nature,  of  a  powerful  desire  to  become  a  mother  and  enjoy 
'  domestic  comfort,  to  realize  a  poetic  and  chivalrous  ideal  in 
man,  to  gratify  a  general  sensual  need  distributed  over  the  whole 
,  body  and  in  no  way  concentrated  in  the  sexual  organs  or  in  the 
desire  for  coitus. 

:     Nature  of  the  Sexual  Appetite  in  Woman. — The  zone  of  sexual 

\  excitation  is  less  specially  limited  to  the  sexual  organs  in  woman 

'  than  in  man.    The  nipples  constitute  in  her  an  entire  zone  and 

'  their  friction  excites  voluptuousness.     If  we  consider  the  im- 

,  portance  in  the  life  of  woman,  of  pregnancy,  suckling,  and  all 

i  the  maternal  functions,  we  can  understand  why  the  mixture  of 

;  her  sentiments  and  sensations  is  so  different  from  that  of  man. 

j  Her  smaller  stature  and  strength,  together  with  her  passive  role 

in  coitus,  explain  why  she  aspires  to  a  strong  male  support. 

This  is  simply  a  question  of  natural  phylogenetic  adaptation. 

This  is  why  a  young  girl  sighs  for  a  courageous,  strong  and  enter- 

,  prising  man,  who  is  superior  to  her,  whom  she  is  obliged  to 

I  respect,  and  in  whose  arms  she  feels  secure.    Strength  and  skill 

I  in  man  are  the  ideal  of  the  young  savage  and  uncultured  girl,  his 

I  intellectual  and  moral  superiority  that  of  the  young  cultivated 

girl,     y 


94  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

As  a  rule  women  are  much  more  the  slaves  of  their  instincts 
and  habits  than  men.  ^n  primitive  peoples,  hardiness  and  bold- 
ness in  men  were  qualities  which  made  for  success.  This  ex- 
plains why,  even  at  the  present  day,  the  boldest  and  most 
audacious  Don  Juans  excite  most  strongly  the  sexual  desires  of 
women,  and  succeed  in  turning  the  heads  of  most  young  girls, 
in  spite  of  their  worst  faults  in  other  respects.  Nothing  is  more 
repugnant  to  the  feminine  instinct  than  timidity  and  awkward- 
ness in  man.  In  our  time  women  become  more  and  more 
enthusiastic  over  the  intellectual  superiority  of  man,  which 
excites  their  desire.  Without  being  indifferent  to  it,  simple 
bodily  beauty  in  man  excites  the  appetite  of  women  to  a  less 
extent.  It  is  astonishing  to  see  to  what  point  women  often 
become  enamored  of  old,  ugly  or  deformed  men.  We  shall  see 
later  on  that  the  normal  woman  is  much  more  particular  than 
man  in  giving  her  love./  While  the  normal  man  is  generally 
attracted  to  coitus  by  nearly  every  more-or-less  young  and 
healthy  woman,  this  is  by  no  means  the  case  in  the  normal 
woman  with  regard  to  man.  She  is  also  much  more  constant 
than  man  from  the  sexual  point  of  view.  It  is  rarely  possible 
for  her  to  experience  sexual  desire  for  several  men  at  once;  her 
senses  are  nearly  always  attracted  to  one  lover  only. 
■^The  instinct  of  procreation  is  much  stronger  in  woman  than 
in  man,  and  is  combined  with  the  desire  to  give  herself  pas- 
sively, to  play  the  part  of  one  who  devotes  herself,  who  is  con- 
quered, mastered  and  subjugated.  These  negative  aspirations 
form  part  of  the  normal  sexual  appetite  of  woman./ 

A  peculiarity  of  the  sexual  sentiments  of  woman  is  an  ill- 
defined  pathological  phenomenon  with  normal  sensations,  a 
phenomenon  which  in  man,  on  the  contrary,  forms  a  very 
marked  contrast  with  the  latter;  I  refer  to  the  homosexual 
appetite,  in  which  the  object  is  an  individual  of  the  same  sex. 
Normally,  the  adult  man  produces  on  another  man  an  absolutely 
repulsive  effect  from  the  sexual  point  of  view;  it  is  only  patho- 
logical subjects,  or  those  excited  by  sexual  privation  who  are 
affected  with  sensual  desires  for  other  men.  But  in  woman  a 
certam  sensual  desire  for  caresses,  connected  more  or  less  with 
unconscious  and  iU-defined  sexual  sensations,  is  not  limited  to 


THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  95 

the  male  sex  but  extends  to  other  women,  to  children,  and  even 
to  animals,  apart  from  pathologically  inverted  sexual  appetites. 
Young  normal  girls  often  like  to  sleep  together  in  the  same  bed, 
to  caress  and  kiss  each  other,  which  is  not  the  case  with  normal 
young  men.  In  the  male  sex  such  sensual  caresses  are  nearly 
always  accompanied  and  provoked  by  sexual  appetite,  which  is 
not  the  case  in  women.  As  we  have  already  seen,  man  may 
separate  true  love  from  the  sexual  appetite  to  such  an  extent 
that  two  minds,  each  feeling  in  a  different  way,  may  inhabit  the 
same  brain.    A  man  may  be  a  loving  and  devoted  husband  and 

I  at  the  same  time  satisfy  his  animal  appetites  with  prostitutes. 
In  woman,  such  sexual  dualism  is  much  more  rare  and  always 

I  unnatural,  the  normal  woman  being  much  less  capable  than 

'  man  of  separating  love  from  sexual  appetite. 

These   facts   explain    the   singular    caprices    of    the   sexual 

i  appetite  and  orgasm  in  the  normal  woman,  in  whom  these 
phenomena  are  not  easily  produced  without  love. 

The  same  woman  who  loves  one  man  and  not  another  is  sus- 
ceptible to  sexual  appetite  and  voluptuous  sensations  when  she 
cohabits  with  the  first,  while  she  is  often  absolutely  cold  and 
insensible  to  the  most  passionate  embraces  of  the  second.  This 
fact  explains  the  possibility  of  prostitution  as  it  exists  among 
women.  The  worst  prostitutes,  who  have  connection  with  in- 
numerable paying  clients  without  feeling  the  least  pleasure, 
generally  have  a  "protector"  with  whom  they  are  enamored 
and  to  whom  they  devote  all  their  love  and  sincere  orgasms,  all 
the  time  allowing  themselves  to  be  plundered  and  exploited  by 
him. 

What  the  normal  woman  requires  from  man  is  love,  tender- 
ness, a  firm  support  for  life,  a  certain  chivalrous  nature,  and 
children.  She  can  renounce  the  voluptuous  sensations  of  coitus 
infinitely  more  easily  than  the  exigencies  I  have  just  indicated, 
which  are  for  her  the  principal  things.  Nothing  makes  a  woman 
more  indignant  than  the  indifference  of  her  husband,  when,  for 
instance,  he  treats  her  simply  as  a  housekeeper.  Some  have 
maintained  that  the  average  woman  is  more  sensual  than  man, 
others  that  she  is  less  so.  Both  these  statements  are  false;  she 
is  sensual  in  another  manner. 


96  ')  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

All  the  peculiarities  of  the  sexual  appetite  in  woman  are  thus 
the  combined  product  of:  (1)  the  profound  influence  of  the  sex- 
ual functions  on  her  whole  existence;  (2)  her  passive  sexual  role; 
(3)  her  special  mental  faculties.  By  these,  and  more  especially 
by  her  passive  sexual  role,  are  explained  her  instinctive  co- 
quettishness,  her  love  of  finery  and  personal  adornment,  in  a 
word  her  desire  to  please  men  by  her  external  appearance,  by 
her  looks,  movements  and  grace.  These  phenomena  betray  the 
instinctive  sexual  desires  of  the  young  girl,  which  as  we  have 
just  seen,  do  not  normally  correspond  to  a  direct  desire  for 
coitus. 

Wliile  a  virgin  experiences  in  her  youth  the  sensations  we 
have  just  described,  things  change  after  marriage,  and  as  a 
general  rule,  after  repeated  sexual  connections.  If  these  do 
not  provoke  voluptuous  sensations  in  some  women,  they  do  in 
the  majority,  and  this  is  no  doubt  the  normal  state  of  affairs. 
Habit,  then,  produces  an  increasing  desire  for  coitus  and  its  sen- 
sations, and  it  is  not  rare,  in  the  course  of  a  long  life  in  common, 
for  the  roles  to  be  reversed  and  the  woman  become  more  libidi- 
nous than  the  man.  This  partly  explains  why  so  many  widows 
are  anxious  to  remarry.  They  easily  attain  their  object,  as 
men  quickly  succumb  to  the  sexual  desire  of  woman  when  it  is 
expressed  in  an  unequivocal  manner. 

In  widows,  two  strong  sentiments  struggle  against  each  other, 
with  variable  results  in  different  individuals;  on  the  one  hand, 
feminine  constancy  in  love,  and  the  memory  of  the  deceased; 
on  the  other  hand,  the  acquired  habit  of  sexual  connection  and 
its  voluptuous  sensations,  which  leaves  a  void  and  appeals  for 
compensation.  The  sexual  appetite  being  equal,  the  first  senti- 
ment prevails  generally  in  religious  women  or  those  of  a  deeply 
moral  or  sentimental  character,  while  the  second  prevails  in 
women  of  more  material  or  less-refined  nature,  or  in  those 
simply  guided  by  their  reason.  In  these  internal  struggles,  the 
more  delicate  sentiments  and  the  stronger  will  of  the  woman 
result  from  the  fact  that  when  she  wishes  she  can  overcome  her 
appetites  much  better  than  man.  But,  in  spite  of  this,  the  power 
of  the  sexual  appetite  plays  an  important  part  in  the  inward 
struggle  we  have  just  mentioned.    When  this  appetite  is  absent 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  97 

there  is  no  struggle,  and  the  widow's  conduct  is  dictated  either 
by  her  own  convenience,  or  by  the  instinct  which  naturally 
leads  a  woman  to  yield  to  the  amorous  advances  of  a  man. 

At  the  critical  age,  that  is  the  time  when  menstruation  ceases, 
neither  the  sexual  appetite  nor  voluptuous  sensations  disap- 
pear, although  desire  diminishes  normally  as  age  advances.  In 
this  respect  it  is  curious  to  note  that  old  women  possess  no  sex- 
ual attraction  for  men,  while  they  often  feel  libidinous  desires 
almost  as  strongly  as  young  women.  This  is  a  kind  of  natural 
anomaly. 

As  we  have  already  stated,  individual  differences  in  the  sexual 
appetite  are  much  greater  in  woman  than  in  man.  Some 
women  are  extremely  excitable,  and  from  their  first  youth  ex- 
perience violent  sexual  desire,  causing  them  to  masturbate  or  to 
throw  themselves  onto  men.  Such  women  are  usually  poly- 
androus  by  nature,  although  the  sexual  appetite  in  woman  is 
normally  much  more  monogamous  than  that  of  man.  Such 
excesses  in  woman  take  on  a  more  pathological  character  than 
in  man,  and  go  under  the  name  of  nymphomania.  The  insatia- 
bility of  these  females,  who  may  be  met  with  in  all  classes  of 
society,  may  become  fabulous.  Night  and  day,  with  short  in- 
terruptions for  sleeping  and  eating,  they  are,  in  extreme  cases, 
anxious  for  coitus.  They  become  less  exhausted  than  men, 
because  their  orgasm  is  not  accompanied  by  loss  of  semen. 

Although  in  the  normal  state  woman  is  naturally  full  of  deli- 
cacy and  sentiments  of  modesty,  nothing  is  easier  than  to  make 
these  disappear  completely  by  training  her  systematically  to 
sexual  immodesty  or  to  prostitution.  Here  we  observe  the 
effects  of  the  routine  and  suggestible  character  of  feminine 
psychology,  of  the  tendency  of  woman  to  become  the  slave  of 
habit  and  custom,  as  well  as  of  her  perseverance  when  her 
determined  will  pursues  a  definite  end.  Prostitution  gives  us 
sad  proofs  of  this  fact.  ^ 

The  psychology  of  prostitutes  is  very  peculiar.     Attempts  t(K 
restore  them  to  a  moral  life  nearly  always  fail  hopelessly;   it  is 
rare  to  see  them  permanently  successful.     Most  of  these  women 
have  a  heredity  of  bad  quality  and  are  of  weak  character,  idle 
and  libidinous.     They  find  it  much  easier  to  gain  their  living  by 


98  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

prostitution,  and  forget  their  work,  if  they  have  ever  learned 
any.  The  poverty,  drunkenness  and  shame  which  follow  se- 
duction and  illegitimate  birth  have  no  doubt  di'iven  more  than 
one  prostitute  to  her  sad  trade,  but  the  naturally  evil  disposi- 
tions of  these  women  constitute  without  any  doubt  the  principal 
cause.  Alcohol,  venereal  diseases  and  bad  habits,  combined 
with  continually  repeated  sexual  degradation,  afterwards  deter- 
mine progi'essive  decadence. 

Some  of  these  women,  however,  of  better  quality,  only  sur- 
render themselves  to  prostitution  by  compulsion;  they  suffer 
from  this  existence  and  strive  to  escape  from  it.  The  grisettes 
and  lorettes*  form  a  group  intermediate  between  prostitution 
and  natural  love;  they  are  women  who  hire  themselves  for  a 
time  to  one  man  in  particular,  and  are  maintained  and  paid  by 
him  in  return  for  satisfying  his  sexual  appetites.  Here  again, 
sexual  desire  only  exceptionally  plays  the  chief  role.  The  con- 
duct of  these  women  results  from  their  loose  character  and 
pecuniary  interest. 

If,  therefore,  we  admit  on  the  one  hand  that  the  sexual  ex- 
cesses of  the  female  sex  are  especially  grafted  on  hereditary 
disposition  of  character,  or  are  primarily  due  to  strong  appe- 
tites, we  are  obliged  on  the  other  hand  to  recognize  that  the 
great  role  played  by  sexuality  in  the  brain  of  woman  renders  it 
more  difficult  for  her  than  for  man  to  return  to  better  ways  when 
she  has  once  prostituted  herself,  or  when  she  has  surrendered  in 
any  way  to  sexual  licentiousness,  even  when  her  original  quality 
was  not  bad. 

In  man  the  sexual  appetite  is  much  more  easily  separated 
than  in  woman  from  other  instincts,  sentiments  and  intellectual 
life  in  general,  and  possesses  in  him,  however  powerful  it  may 
be,  a  much  more  transient  character,  which  prevents  it  domi- 
nating the  whole  mental  life. 

I  have  dwelt  so  much  on  this  point  because  it  is  essential  to 
know  the  differences  which  exist  between  man  and  woman  in 
this  respect,  and  to  take  them  into  account  if  we  wish  to  give  a 

*The  terms  grisette  and  lorette  are  now  obsolete,  and  the  names  given  to 
this  class  of  wonien  constantly  varies.  I  shall,  nevertheless,  employ  them  in 
the  course  ot  this  work  because  they  clearly  define  certain  special  varieties 
of  remunerated  concubinage. 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  99 

just  and  healthy  judgment  on  the  sexual  question  from  the  social 
point  of  view.  The  more  it  is  our  duty  to  give  the  same  rights 
to  both  sexes,  the  more  absurd  it  is  to  disregard  the  profound- 
ness of  their  differences  and  to  imagine  that  these  can  ever  be 
effaced. 

Flirtation. — If  we  look  in  an  English  dictionary  for  the  mean- 
ing of  the  word  flirt,  we  find  it  equivalent  to  coquetry.  But 
this  English  term  has  become  fixed  and  modernized  in  another 
'sense  which  has  become  international,  to  express  the  old  idea 
of  a  series  of  well-known  phenomena  which  must  be  clearly  dis- 
tinguished from  coquetry. 

Coquetry,  an  especially  feminine  attribute,  is  not  in  itself 
dependent  on  the  sexual  appetite;  it  is  an  indirect  irradiation, 
purely  psychical,  and  we  shall  speak  of  it  later  on.  Flirtation,  as 
we  now  understand  the  term,  is  directly  connected  with  the 
sexual  appetite,  and  constitutes  its  external  impression  in  all 
the  wealth  of  its  forms,  as  much  in  man  as  in  woman.  In  a 
word,  flirtation  is  a  polymorphous  language  which  clearly  ex- 
presses the  sexual  desires  of  an  individual  to  the  one  who 
awakens  these  desires,  actual  coitus  alone  excepted. 

Flirtation  may  be  practiced  in  a  more  or  less  unconscious 
manner.  It  is  by  itself  neither  a  psychic  attribute  nor  sex- 
ual appetite,  for  a  human  being  may  so  hide  and  overcome  his 
appetites  that  no  one  remarks  them;  and  on  the  contrary,  he 
may  simulate  sexual  appetite  without  feeling  it,  or  at  any  rate 
behave  in  such  a  way  as  to  excite  it  in  his  partner.  Flirtation 
thus  consists  in  an  activity  calculated  to  disclose  the  eroticism 
of  the  subject  as  well  as  to  excite  that  of  others.  It  is  needless 
to  say  that  the  nature  of  coquetry  disposes  to  flirtation. 

Flirtation  comprises  all  the  sport  of  love,  kisses,  caresses  and 
all  kinds  of  sexual  excitation  even  to  orgasm,  without  reaching 
the  consurmnation  of  coitus.  All  degrees  may  be  noted;  and, 
according  to  temperament,  flirtation  may  be  limited  to  slight 
excitation  of  the  sexual  appetite  or  may  extend  to  violent  and 
rapidly  increasing  emissions.  The  considerable  individual  differ- 
ences which  exist  in  sexual  sensibility  result  in  the  same  percep- 
tion or  the  same  act  having  little  effect  on  one  individual,  while 
it  excites  another  to  a  high  degree.    In  the  latter  case,  especially 


100  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

in  man,  flirtation  may  even  lead  to  venereal  orgasm  without 
coitus,  and  even  without  any  manipulations  which  resemble  it. 
A  woman  of  exuberant  form,  assuming  sensual  and  voluptuous 
attitudes,  may  thus  provoke  an  ejaculation  by  the  slight  and 
repeated  friction  of  her  dress  against  the  penis  of  an  excitable 
dancer. 

The  same  thing  often  occurs  when  a  passionate  couple  caress 
and  embrace  each  other  without  the  genital  organs  being  touched 
or  even  exposed.  In  this  respect  the  woman  is  better  protected* 
than  the  man,  but  when  she  is  very  excitable  an  orgasm  may 
be  produced  in  her  during  the  caresses  of  a  passionate  flirtation 
by  the  pressure  or  friction  of  her  legs  against  each  other  (a 
variety  of  masturbation  in  woman). 

As  a  rule,  however,  things  do  not  go  so  far  as  this  in  flirtation. 
The  sight  and  touch  are  used  alternately.  The  eyes  play  an 
important  part,  for  they  may  express  much  and  consequently 
act  powerfully,  A  pressure  of  the  hands,  an  apparently  chance 
movement,  touching  the  dress  and  the  skin,  etc.,  are  the  usual 
means  of  flirtation.  In  situations  where  people  are  close  to- 
gether or  pressed  against  each  other,  as  in  railway  carriages, 
or  at  table,  the  legs  play  a  well-known  part,  by  pressure  of  the 
knees  and  feet. 

This  dumb  conversation  of  the  sexual  appetite  begins  at  first 
in  a  prudent  and  apparently  innocent  manner,  so  that  the  act- 
ing party  does  not  risk  being  taxed  with  impropriety;  but  as 
soon  as  he  who  began  the  flirtation  perceives  that  his  slight 
invitations  are  welcome  he  grows  bolder,  a  tacit  mutual  agree- 
ment is  established,  and  the  game  continues  without  a  single 
word  betraying  the  reciprocal  sensations.  Many  who  practice 
flirtation,  both  men  and  women,  avoid  betraying  themselves  by 
words,  and  they  take  pleasure  in  this  mutual  excitation  of  their 
genital  sensibility,  however  incomplete  it  may  be. 
/  Flirtation  may  assume  very  different  forms  according  to 
education  and  temperament.  The  action  of  alcohol  on  the 
brain  develops  the  coarsest  forms  of  flirtation.  Every  one 
knows  the  clumsy  embraces  of  semi-intoxicated  persons  which 
can  often  be  seen  at  night  or  on  Sundays  and  holidays,  in  the 
street  or  in  railway  carriages,  etc.    I  designate  these  by  the 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  101 

term  "alcoholic  flirtation."  Even  in  the  best  and  most  refined 
society  flu-tation  loses  its  delicacy  even  under  the  effect  of  the 
slightest  degree  of  alcoholic  intoxication. 

Flirtation  assumes  a  more  delicate  and  more  complicated 
character,  rendering  it  gracious  and  full  of  charm,  in  persons 
of  higher  education,  especially  when  they  are  highly  intellectual 
or  artistic. 

We  must  also  mention  the  intellectual  variety  of  flirtation 
which  is  not  expressed  by  sight  or  touch,  but  only  by  language. 
Delicate  allusions  to  sexual  matters  and  somewhat  lascivious 
conversation  excite  eroticism  as  much  as  looks  and  touch.  Ac- 
cording to  the  education  of  the  persons  concerned,  this  talk 
may  be  coarse  and  vulgar,  or  on  the  contrary  refined  and  full 
of  wit,  managed  with  more  or  less  skill,  or  clumsily.  Here  the 
natural  finesse  of  woman  plays  a  considerable  part.  Men  want- 
ing in  tact  are  clumsy  and  offensive  in  their  attempts  at  flirta- 
tion, and  thus  extinguish  instead  of  exciting  the  woman's 
eroticism.  The  manner  in  which  alcoholic  flirtation  manifests 
itself  in  cynical,  dull,  obtrusive  and  stupid  conversation,  corre- 
sponds to  its  other  forms  of  expression.  Woman  desires 
flirtation;  but  does  not  wish  it  to  assume  an  unbecoming 
form. 

One  can  say  anything  to  a  woman;  all  depends  on  the  way 
in  which  it  is  said.  I  have  seen  lady  doctors  with  whom  one 
could  discuss  the  most  ticklish  subjects,  profoundly  shocked  by 
the  misplaced  pleasantries  of  a  tactless  professor.  In  themselves 
these  pleasantries  were  quite  innocent  for  medical  ears,  as  my 
lady  colleagues  were  finally  obliged  to  admit,  when  I  pointed  out 
to  them  the  specially  feminine  character  of  their  psychic  reaction, 
proving  to  them  that  they  listened  without  a  frown  to  things  ten 
times  worse,  when  the  lecturer  gave  them  a  moral  tone. 

Men  also  generally  feel  disgusted  with  the  dull,  cynical  or 
clumsy  form  of  female  eroticism,  although  they  are  not  usually 
over-refined  themselves  in  this  respect. 

This  last  phenomenon  leads  us  to  distinguish  between  flirta- 
tion in  man  and  in  woman.  For  woman  it  constitutes  the  only 
permissible  way  of  expressing  erotic  sentiments,  and  even  then 
much  restraint  is  imposed  on  her.    Circumstances  develop  in 


102  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

her  the  art  of  flirtation  and  give  it  remarkable  finesse.  Un- 
less she  exposes  herself  to  great  danger,  woman  can  only  leave 
her  sensuaUty  to  be  guessed.  Eveiy  audacious  and  tactless 
provocation  fails  in  its  object,  it  drives  away  the  men  and 
destroys  a  young  girl's  reputation.  Even  when  possessed  by 
the  most  violent  erotic  desire  woman  cannot  ostensibly  depart 
from  her  passive  role  without  compromising  herself.  Neverthe- 
less, she  succeeds  on  the  whole  very  easily  in  exciting  the  pas- 
sions of  man,  by  the  aid  of  a  few  artifices.  No  doubt  she  does 
not  entirely  dominate  him  by  this  means.  She  must  be  very 
delicate  and  adi'oit,  at  any  rate  at  first,  in  the  provocative  art 
of  flirtation.  These  frivolities  are  greatly  facilitated  by  her 
whole  nature  and  by  the  character  of  her  habitual  eroticism. 
Man,  on  the  other  hand,  may  be  more  audacious  in  the  expres- 
sion of  his  passion.  This  brings  us  back  to  what  has  been  said 
concerning  the  sexual  differences. 

A  whole  volume  could  be  written  on  the  forms  of  flirtation, 
which  is  the  indispensable  expression  of  aU  sexual  desire.  Among 
engaged  couples  it  assumes  a  legal  character  and  even  a  con- 
ventional form.  The  way  in  which  barmaids  flirt  with  their 
customers  is  also  somewhat  conventional,  although  in  quite  a 
different  way.  In  society,  flirtation  is  generally  seasoned 
with  more  Attic  salt,  whether  it  is  not  allowed  to  exceed  certain 
limits,  or  whether  it  leads  to  free  liaisons  after  the  manner  of 
the  Greek  hetaira.  In  the  country,  among  peasant  girls  and 
boys  it  takes  a  grosser  form,  if  not  more  sensual,  than  among 
the  cultivated  classes;  in  the  latter,  language  takes  the  principal 
part.  Among  rich  idlers  in  watering  places,  large  hotels,  and 
even  in  some  sanatoriums,  flirtation  takes  a  dominant  place  and 
constitutes,  in  all  its  degrees,  the  chief  occupation  of  a  great 
number  of  the  visitors.  It  grows  like  a  weed  wherever  man 
has  a  monotonous  occupation  or  suffers  from  the  ennui  of 
idleness. 

In  certain  individuals,  flirtation  takes  the  place  of  coitus 
from  the  sensual,  and  love  from  the  sentimental  point  of  view. 
There  are  modern  crazy  natures  who  spend  their  existence  in 
all  kinds  of  artificial  excitation  of  the  senses,  creatures  of  both 
sexes  incapable  of  a  useful  action. 


THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  103 

As  a  momentary  and  transient  expression  of  all  the  neces- 
sities of  love,  flirtation  has  a  right  to  existence ;  but,  when  culti- 
vated on  its  own  account  and  always  remaining  as  flirtation,  it 
becomes  a  symptom  of  degeneration  or  sexual  depravity,  among 
idle,  crazy  and  vicious  persons  of  all  kinds. 


CHAPTER  V 

LOVE   AND   OTHER   IRRADIATIONS   OF    THE   SEXUAL   APPETITE   IN      i 

THE    HUMAN    MIND  i 

( 

I 

Generalities.    Jealousy. — We  have  seen  that  the  mechanism  of 
the  appetites  consists  in  instincts  inherited  from  our  animal 
ancestors  by  mnemic  engraphia  and  selection,  and  that  it  is    i 
situated  in   the  primordial   or  lower  cerebral   centers    (basal 
ganglia,  spinal  cord,  etc.).    In  some  of  the  lower  animals  we 
already  find  other  instinctive  nervous  reactions  which  consti- 
tute the  indirect  effects  or  derivatives  of  the  sexual  appetite.    I 
The  most  evident  of  these  is  jealousy,  or  the  feeling  of  grief  and 
anger  produced  in  an  individual  when  the  object  of  his  sexual 
appetite  is  disputed  by  another  individual  of  the  same  sex.    ^ 
Jealousy  may  also  arise  from  other  instincts,  such  as  those  of 
nutrition,  ambition,  etc.;   but  it  forms  one  of  the  most  t3TDical 
complements  of   the  sexual  appetite,  and  leads,  as  we  know, 
to  furious  combats,  especially  between  males,  sometimes  also 
between  females. 

Owing  to  its  profoundly  hereditary  origin,  this  passion  has  a 
very  instinctive  character,  and  might  quite  as  well  have  been 
mentioned  in  the  preceding  chapter.  I  deal  with  it  here  be- 
cause it  is  naturally  associated  with  other  irradiations  of  the 
sexual  appetite,  and  because  it  has  a  peculiarly  mental  character. 

Relation  Between  Love  and  Sexual  Appetite.  Sympathy. — 
Having  entered  the  higher  brain,  or  organ  of  mind,  and  become 
modified,  complicated,  and  combined  with  the  different  branches 
of  psychic  activity,  the  sexual  appetite  takes  the  name  of  love, 
properly  so-called.  In  order  to  better  understand  the  relations 
of  love  to  the  sexual  appetite  we  must  refer  to  Chapter  II.  Let 
us  begin  with  a  short  exposition  of  the  phylogeny  of  the  senti- 
ments of  sympathy,  or  the  altruistic  and  social  senthnents. 

104 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE        105 

In  the  lower  animals  with  no  separate  sexes  egoism  reigns 
absolutely.  Each  individual  eats  as  much  as  it  wants,  then 
divides,  buds  or  conjugates,  thus  fulfilling  the  sole  object  of  its 
existence.  The  same  principle  holds  in  the  lower  stages  of  re- 
production by  separate  sexes.  Spiders  give  us  a  good  example. 
In  these,  copulation  is  a  dangerous  act  for  the  male,  for  if  he  is 
not  extremely  careful  he  is  devoured  by  the  female,  sometimes 
even  before  having  attained  his  object,  often  soon  afterward, 
in  order  that  nothing  may  be  lost.  However,  the  female  shows 
a  certain  consideration  for  her  eggs,  and  sometimes  even  for  the 
young  after  they  are  hatched.  ^ 

In  higher  stages  of  the  animal  kingdom  sentiments  of  sym-    /.    ;■' 
pathy  may  be  observed,  derived  from  the  sexual  union  of  indi- 
viduals.   These  are  sentiments  of  attachment  of  the  male  for 
the  female,  and  especially  of  the  female  (sometimes  the  male  ' ^^ 

also)  for  their  progeny. 

Such  sentiments  become  developed  and  may  be  transformed 
into  intense  love  between  the  sexes,  of  long  duration.  Birds, 
for  instance,  often  remain  faithful  for  many  years,  and  even  for 
life.  From  these  simple  facts  is  evolved  the  intimate  relation- 
ship which  exists  between  sexual  love  and  other  sentiments  of 
sympathy,  that  is  to  say  affection,  or  love  in  the  more  vague  and 
more  extended  sense  of  the  term. 

To  every  sentiment  of  sympathy  between  two  individuals 
(sympathy  forms  part  of  the  sentiments  of  pleasure)  there  is  a 
corresponding  contrary  correlative  sentiment  of  grief,  when  the 
object  of  sympathy  dies,  becomes  sick,  takes  flight  or  is  carried 
off.  This  sentiment  often  takes  the  form  of  simple  sadness, 
but  it  may  attain  a  degree  of  incurable  melancholy.  Among 
certain  monkeys  and  parrots,  we  often  see  the  death  of  one  of 
the  conjoints  lead  to  the  refusal  of  all  food  and  finally  to  death 
of  the  survivor,  after  increasing  sadness  and  depression.  Re- 
moval of  the  young  produces  a  profound  sadness  in  the  female 
ape.  But  when  an  animal  discovers  the  cause  of  the  grief,  when, 
for  instance,  a  stranger  attempts  to  take  away  his  mate  or  his 
young,  a  mixed  reaction  of  sentiment  is  produced,  that  is  to  say 
anger  or  even  fury  against  the  perpetrator  of  the  deed. 

Jealousy  is  only  a  special  form  of  this  anger.    The  sentiment 


106  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

of  anger  and  its  violent  and  hostile  expression  constitute  the 
natural  reaction  against  one  who  disturbs  a  sentiment  of 
pleasure,  a  reaction  which  tends  to  reestablish  the  latter.  The 
power  of  the  sentiment  of  anger  increases  with  the  offensive  and 
defensive  faculties,  while,  m  weak  and  peaceful  beings,  terror 
and  sadness  to  a  great  extent  take  theu  place.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  sight  of  defenseless  prey  suffices  to  provoke,  in  the 
rapacious  who  are  strong  and  well  armed,  by  simple  reflex  asso- 
ciation, a  cruel  sentiment  of  voluptuous  anger,  which  is  also 
observed  in  man. 

Sentiment  of  Duty. — Another  derivative  of  the  sentiment  of 
sympathy  is  that  of  duty,  that  is  the  moral  sense.  All  senti- 
ment of  love  or  sympathy  urges  the  one  who  loves  to  certain 
acts  destined  to  increase  the  welfare  of  the  object  loved.  This 
is  why  the  mother  nourishes  her  young  and  plucks  feathers  and 
hairs  to  make  them  a  soft  bed;  and  why  the  father  brmgs  food 
to  his  wife  and  young,  and  defends  them  against  their  enemies. 
All  these  acts,  which  are  not  to  the  advantage  of  the  individual 
but  to  the  object  or  objects  of  his  sympathy,  exact  more  or  less 
laborious  efforts,  corn-age  in  the  face  of  danger,  etc.  They  thus 
provoke  an  internal  struggle  between  the  sentiment  of  sympa- 
thy and  egoism,  or  the  unpleasantness  of  undertaking  things 
which  are  troublesome  and  disagreeable  for  the  indi^ddual  him- 
self. From  this  struggle  between  two  opposed  series  of  senti- 
ments is  derived  a  third  group  of  complex  or  mixed  sentiments, 
that  of  duty,  or  inoral  conscience.  When  the  sentiment  of  sym- 
pathy prevails,  when  the  animal  does  his  duty  toward  his  young 
and  his  conjoint,  he  feels  a  sentiment  of  pleasure,  of  duty  accom- 
plished. If,  on  the  contrary,  he  has  been  negligent,  the  egoistic 
instincts  having  for  the  moment  prevailed,  the  remorse  of  con- 
science results,  that  is  the  painful  uneasiness  which  follows  all 
disobedience  to  the  instinctive  sentiments  of  sympathy.  This 
uneasiness  accumulates  in  the  brain  in  the  form  of  self-discon- 
tent, and  may  lead  to  an  accentuated  sentiment  of  repentance. 

These  phenomena  exist  both  in  the  male  and  in  the  female, 
and  if  it  was  not  so,  the  accomplishment  of  duty  would  be  impos- 
sible; the  cat  would  run  away  instead  of  defending  her  young; 
would  eat  her  prey  instead  of  giving  it  to  them,  etc.     We  thus 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  107 

see  the  elements  of  human  social  sentiment  already  very  marked 
in  many  animals.  Remorse  and  repentance  can  only  be  formed 
on  the  basis  of  preexisting  sentiments  of  sympathy. 

Sentiment  of  Kinship. — A  higher  degree  of  the  sentiments  of  \ 
sympathy  is  developed  when  these  do  not  remain  limited  to  a 
temporary  union,  but  when  the  union  of  the  sexes  is  trans- 
formed into  durable  or  even  life-long  marriage,  as  we  see  in 
monkeys  and  in  most  birds.  In  another  manner  the  sentiments 
of  sympathy  are  developed  by  extension  of  the  family  commu- 
nity to  a  greater  number  of  individuals,  who  are  grouped  to- 
gether for  the  common  defense,  as  we  see  in  swallows,  crows, 
and  to  a  higher  degree,  in  the  large  organized  communities  of 
social  animals,  as  the  beavers,  bees,  ants,  etc.  In  the  latter, 
the  sentiment  of  sympathy  and  duty  nearly  always  affects 
all  the  individuals  of  the  community,  while  anger  and  jealousy 
are  extended  toward  every  being  which  does  not  form  part  ^ 
of  it. 

We  must  be  blinded  by  prejudice  not  to  comprehend  that 
these  same  general  facts,  revealed  by  the  study  of  biclogy  and 
animal  psychology,  are  repeated  in  the  human  mind.  Some 
animals  are  even  superior  to  the  majority  of  men  in  the  intensity 
of  their  sentiments  of  sympathy  and  duty,  as  well  as  in  love  and 
conjugal  fidelity — monkeys  and  parrots,  for  example.  In  the 
social  insects,  such  as  the  ants  and  bees,  with  their  communities 
so  solidly  organized  and  so  finely  coordinated  on  the  basis  of 
instinct,  the  sentiment  of  social  duty  has  almost  entirely  re- 
placed the  individual  sentiments  of  sympathy.  An  ant  or  a  ,. 
bee  only  loves,  so  to  speak,  the  whole  assemblage  of  his  com- 
panions. It  does  not  sacrifice  itself  for  any  one  of  them  in 
particular,  but  only  for  the  community.  In  these  animals  the 
individual  is  only  regarded  as  a  number  in  the  community  whose 
motto  is — one  for  all,  but  never  all  for  one. 

In  bees  especially,  the  degree  of  sympathy  extended  to  a 
member  or  a  class  of  the  hive  is  exactly  proportional  to  the 
utility  of  this  member  to  the  community.  The  working  bees 
will  kill  themselves  or  die  of  hunger  in  order  to  nourish  their 
queen,  while  in  the  autumn  they  ruthlessly  massacre  all  the 
males  or  drones  which  have  become  useless. 


108  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Sentiments  of  Patriotism  and  Humanity. — The  human  brain, 
so  powerful  and  so  compHcated,  contains  a  little  of  all  these 
things,  with  enormous  individual  variations.  In  man,  the  sen- 
timents of  sympathy  and  duty  relate  especially  to  the  family, 
that  is  to  say,  they  are  to  a  great  extent  limited  to  individuals 
interested  in  a  sexual  community,  viz.,  the  conjoints  and  chil- 
dren, as  occurs  generally  in  mammals.  It  follows  that  senti- 
ments of  sympathy  connected  with  larger  communities  such  as 
remote  relatives,  the  clan,  the  community,  the  country,  those 
who  speak  the  same  language,  etc.,  are  relatively  much  weaker, 
and  result  from  education  and  custom  rather  than  from  instinct. 
The  weakest  sentiment  is  certainly  that  of  humanity,  which  re- 
gards each  man  as  a  brother  and  companion,  and  from  which  is 
evolved  the  general  sentiment  of  solidarity  or  social  duty.  How 
can  it  be  otherwise  in  a  species  which  has  lived  for  thousands 
or  perhaps  millions  of  years  as  small  hostile  tribes,  separated 
from  each  other?  Primitive  men  were  so  destitute  of  all  hu- 
manitarian sentiment  that  they  not  only  killed  one  another 
and  practiced  mutual  slavery,  but  also  martyred,  tortured  and 
even  devoured  one  another. 

In  spite  of  all  this,  and  as  the  result  of  custom  and  life  in 
common,  the  individual  sentiments  of  sympathy  in  man  are 
easily  extended  to  members  of  other  races,  especially  as  regards 
different  sexes,  so  much  so  that  enemies  conquered  and  taken 
prisoners  often  became  later  on,  owing  to  life  in  common,  the 
friends  or  mates  of  their  conquerors. 

Antipathy. — Inversely,  individual  antipathies  and  enmity 
often  occur  not  only  between  members  of  the  same  tribe  but  even 
between  those  of  the  same  family.  The  latter  may  lead  to 
parricide,  fratricide,  infanticide,  or  assassination  of  a  conjoint. 

Phylogeny  of  Love. — The  social  life  of  ants  ofTers  us  some  in- 
structive analogies.  In  spite  of  the  intense  hostility  of  different 
colonies  of  ants  among  themselves,  there  may  be  obtained  by 
habitude,  often  after  many  desperate  combats,  alliances  between 
colonies  which  were  hitherto  enemies,  even  between  colonies  of 
different  species.  These  alliances  henceforth  become  perma- 
nent. This  is  very  curious  to  observe  at  the  time  when  the 
alliance  begins  to  be  formed.    We  then  see  certain  individual 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  109 

hatreds  persist,  to  a  varying  extent,  for  several  days.  Certain 
individuals  of  the  weaker  party  are  maltreated  by  other  indi- 
viduals of  the  conquering  party.  They  cut  off  their  limbs  and 
antennae  and  often  martyrize  them  to  death  with  a  rabidness 
that  sadly  resembles  human  sentiments!  Hatred  and  dispute 
between  individuals  of  the  same  colony  of  ants  are,  on  the 
other  hand,  extremely  rare.  I  can  guarantee  the  correctness  of 
all  these  observations,  having  often  repeated  them  myself  and 
having  recorded  them  in  my  works  on  the  habits  of  ants.  More- 
over, they  have  since  been  confirmed  by  other  writers. 

After  what  we  have  just  said,  and  especially  if  we  take  into 
consideration  the  numerous  observations  which  have  been  made 
in  biology,  we  can  hardly  doubt  that  the  sentiment  of  sexual 
attraction,  or  the  sexual  appetite,  has  been  the  primary  source 
of  nearly  all,  if  not  all,  the  sentiments  of  sympathy  and  duty 
which  have  been  developed  in  animals  and  especially  in  man. 
Many  of  these  sentiments  are  no  doubt  little  by  little  completely 
differentiated  and  rendered  entirely  independent  of  sexual  sen- 
timent, forming  a  series  of  corresponding  conceptions  adapted 
to  divers  social  objects  in  the  form  of  sentiments  of  amity.  The 
latter  in  their  turn  have  often  become  the  generators  of  social 
formations  and  of  a  more  generalized  altruism.  Many  others, 
however,  have  remained  more  or  less  consciously  associated 
with  the  sexual  appetite,  as  is  certainly  the  case  in  man. 

This  short  sketch  which  we  have  given  of  the  phylogenetic 
history  of  love  and  its  derivatives  is  sufficient  to  show  the  im- 
mense influence  which  sexual  life  has  exercised  on  the  whole 
development  of  the  human  mind. 

On  the  other  hand,  we  must  avoid  exaggerating  the  actual 
importance  of  this  influence.  Young  children,  who  possess 
neither  sexual  appetite  nor  corresponding  sen^tions,  already 
give  evidence  not  only  of  intense  sentiments  of  sympathy  and 
antipathy,  anger  and  jealousy,  but  also  of  commiseration,  when 
they  see  those  whom  they  love  suffer;  they  may  even  show 
that  they  already  possess  the  sentiment  of  duty  or  disinterested 
devotion.  All  these  phylogenetic  derivatives  of  the  sentiments 
of  sexual  attraction  are  thus  developed  in  the  individual  long 
before  the  sexual  instinct  itself,  from  which  they  have  become 


110  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

absolutely  mdependent.  This  does  not  prevent  them  being 
powerfully  influenced  by  the  sexual  instinct  when  this  awakes, 
or  from  being  associated  with  its  direct  derivatives  when  the 
sexual  appetite,  properly  so-called,  is  absent.  Thus  we  see 
absolutely  cold  women  become  loving  and  devoted  wives  and 
mothers,  and  possessing  a  highly  developed  sense  of  kinship. 
Maternal  love  is  a  sentiment  of  sympathy  derived  from  the 
sexual  sentiment,  adapted  directly  to  children,  who  are  the 
products  of  sexual  life. 

Constellations. — From  all  tliis  results  the  immense  compli- 
cation of  the  peculiarities  of  the  human  mind  which  are  con- 
nected with  love.  Individual  variations  of  the  disposition  to 
sexual  appetite  are  combined  with  individual  dispositions  to  the 
higher  qualities  of  mind — general  sentiments,  intelligence  and 
will — to  form  the  most  diverse  individual  combinations,  which 
we  may  call  constellations.  Moreover,  inherited  individual  dis- 
positions are  combined  in  man  with  a  great  number  of  expe- 
riences and  remembrances,  acquired  in  all  domains  in  the  course 
of  his  life,  accumulating  them  in  his  brain  by  what  is  called 
education  or  adaptation  to  environment.  From  the  immense 
complexity  of  energies  resulting  from  hereditary  dispositions 
combined  with  acquired  factors,  the  resolutions  and  acts  of 
man  are  derived,  without  his  being  able  to  account  for  the 
infinite  multiplicity  of  causes  which  determine  them. 

It  is  thus  that  a  man  may  be  a  model  of  conduct  or  morality, 
simply  from  the  fact  that  his  sexual  appetite  is  almost  nil. 
Another,  on  the  contrary,  suffers  from  an  exaggerated  sexual 
appetite,  but  is  devoted,  conscientious,  and  even  scrupulous; 
this  results  in  violent  internal  struggles,  from  which  he  does  not 
always  emerge  victorious.  A  third  is  moderate  in  his  appe- 
tites; if  his  sentiment  of  duty  is  strong  and  he  possesses  a 
strong  will,  he  will  resist  his  desires,  while  if  his  will  is  weak 
or  his  moral  sense  defective,  he  will  succumb  to  the  first 
temptation. 

Love  and  sexual  appetite  may  be  intimately  connected  or 
completely  separated  in  the  same  individual.  In  the  same  way 
that  a  cold  v/oman  may  be  a  good  mother,  a  very  sensual  woman 
may  be  a  bad  one,  but  the  inverse  may  also  be  met  with. 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  111 

Love. — I  speak  here  of  the  true  love  of  a  higher  nature  of  one 
sex  for  the  other,  or  sexual  love,  which  is  not  simple  friendship, 
but  is  combined  with  sexual  appetite.  To  write  on  love  is 
almost  to  pour  water  into  the  ocean,  for  literature  is  three  parts 
composed  of  dissertations  on  love.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that 
the  normal  man  feels  a  great  desire  for  love.  The  irradiations 
of  love  in  the  mind  constitute  one  of  the  fundamental  conditions 
of  human  happiness  and  one  of  the  principal  objects  of  life. 
Unfortunately,  the  question  is  too  often  treated  with  exagger- 
ated sentiment,  or  on  the  other  hand,  with  sensual  cynicism;  it 
is  examined  from  one  side  only,  or  else  it  is  misunderstood. 

First  of  all,  love  appears  to  be  usually  kindled  by  the  sexual 
appetite.  This  is  the  celebrated  story  of  Cupid's  arrow.  One 
falls  in  love  with  a  face,  a  look,  a  smile,  a  white  breast,  a  sweet 
and  melodious  voice,  etc.  However,  the  relations  between  love 
and  sexual  appetite  are  extremely  delicate  and  complex.  In 
man,  the  second  may  exist  without  the  first  and  love  may  often 
persist  without  appetite,  while  in  woman  the  two  things  are 
difficult  to  separate,  and  in  any  case,  in  her,  the  original  appe- 
tite without  love  is  much  more  rare.  The  two  things  are  thus 
not  identical;  even  the  most  materialistic  and  libidinous  egoist 
will  agree  to  this,  if  he  is  not  too  narrow-minded.  ^ 

It  may  also  happen  that  love  precedes  appetite,  and  this^ 
often  leads  to  the  most  happy  unions.  Two  characters  may  have 
extreme  mutual  sympathy,  and  this  purely  intellectual  and  sen- 
timental sympathy  may  at  first  develop  without  a  shadow  of 
sensuality.  This  is  nearly  always  the  case  when  it  exists  from 
infancy.  In  modern  society  an  enormous  number  of  sexual 
unions,  or  marriages,  are  consummated  without  a  trace  of  love, 
and  are  based  on  pure  speculation,  conventionality  or  fortune. 
Here  it  is  tacitly  assumed  that  the  normal  sexual  appetite  com- 
bined with  custom  will  cement  the  marriage  and  render  it  dura- 
ble. As  the  normal  man  has  not,  as  a  rule,  extreme  sentiments, 
such  prevision  is  usually  realized  on  the  whole,  the  conjoints 
becoming  gradually  adapted  to  one  another,  more  or  less  suc- 
cessfully according  to  the  discoveries  which  are  made  after^^ 
marriage. 

Even  when  they  are  relatively  true,  love  stories  generally 


v/ 


112  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

deal  with  exceptional  cases,  often  even  pathological;  for  the 
average  marriage  does  not  appear  to  the  novelist  sufficiently 
piquant  or  interesting  to  captivate  his  readers.  We  are  not  con- 
cerned here  with  extremes,  or  with  the  tragic  situations  met 
with  in  novels,  but  with  normal  and  ordinary  love,  as  it  most 
often  occurs  in  reality. 

After  what  we  have  just  said,  it  is  clear  that  love  is  derived 
from  two  factors:  (1)  momentary  sexual  passion;  (2)  the  heredi- 
tary and  instinctive  sentiments  of  sympathy  which  are  derived 
from  the  primordial  sexual  appetite  of  our  afiimal  ancestors,  hut 
which  have  become  completely  independent  of  this  appetite.  Be- 
tween these  two  terms  are  placed  the  sentiments  of  sympathy 
experienced  by  the  individual  in  his  former  life,  which  have 
most  often  been  provoked  by  sexual  desire  for  an  individual 
of  the  opposite  sex,  and  which  may  be  evoked  by  the  aid  of  re- 
membrance, kindled  afresh,  and  contribute  strongly  to  maintain 
constancy  of  love.  These  different  sentiments  pass  into  each 
other  in  all  possible  shades,  and  continually  react  on  each  other. 
Sexual  appetite,  for  example,  awakens  sympathy,  and  is  awak- 
ened by  the  latter  in  its  turn;  on  the  contrary,  it  is  cooled  or 
extinguished  under  the  influence  of  bad  conduct  on  the  part 
of  the  person  loved. 

Let  us  here  recall  a  law  of  the  sentiments  of  sympathy,  a  law 
which  is  well  known,  but  generally  forgotten  in  human  calcula- 
tions. Man  loves  best  those  to  whom  he  devotes  himself,  and 
not  those  from  whom  he  receives  benefits.*  It  is  easy  to  be 
convinced  of  the  reality  of  this  fact  in  the  relations  of  parents 
to  their  children,  as  well  as  in  marriage.  ^\Tien  one  of  the  con- 
joints in  marriage  adulates  the  other,  the  latter  may  easily  find 
this  adulation  quite  natural,  and  may  love  the  other  conjoint 
much  less  than  a  spoilt  child,  to  which  is  devoted  all  the  trans- 
ports of  an  unreasonable  affection.  The  spoilt  child,  the  object 
of  such  blind  affection,  more  often  responds  to  it  by  indiffer- 
ence, or  even  by  ingratitude,  disdain  and  impertinence.  We 
find  everywhere  this  play  of  sentiments,  which  considerably 
impedes  mutuahty  in  love.    It  may  even  concern  inanimate 

*  This  tendency  of  man  has  been  analyzed  with  a  very  refined  psychologj' 
by  Labiche,  in  one  of  his  most  celebrated  comedies :  "  Le  voyage  de  M.  Perichon.'" 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE        113 

objects.  We  like  a  garden,  a  house  or  a  book  over  which  we 
have  taken  much  pains,  and  we  remain  indifferent  to  the  most 
beautiful  and  precious  gifts  which  come  by  themselves  without 
our  making  any  effort  to  obtain  them.  In  the  same  way,  the 
child  becomes  attached  to  some  toy  which  he  has  made  him- 
self, and  disdains  the  costly  presents  given  by  his  parents.  As  a 
poet  has  said:  "Man  only  enjoys  for  long  and  without  remorse 
the  goods  dearly  paid  for  by  his  efforts."  (Sully-Prudhomme : 
'' Le  Bonheur.") 

There  is,  therefore,  a  profound  psychology  in  the  old  and  wise 
sa3dng  that  true  love  expresses  itself  as  often  by  refusal  as  by 
compliance,  and  should  always  associate  itself  with  reason.  No 
doubt  this  is  not  primitive  love;  it  is  a  love  elevated  and  purified 
by  its  combination  with  the  elements  of  intelligence. 

In  marriage,  more  than  one  husband  thinks  he  ought  to  be 
separated  from  his  wife  and  children  so  as  not  to  spoil  them. 
There  is  no  need  of  a  long  explanation  to  show  the  fallacy  of 
this  idea.  To  be  complete,  love  should  be  reciprocal,  and  to 
remain  mutual  it  requires  mutual  education  in  marriage.  Every 
husband  should  above  all  be  separated  from  himself,  and  not 
from  his  wife.  If  each  one  did  all  in  his  power  to  promote  the 
happiness  of  the  other,  this  altruistic  effort  would  strengthen 
his  own  sentiments  of  sympathy.  This  requires  a  constant  and 
loyal  effort  on  each  side,  but  it  avoids  the  illusion  of  a  false 
love,  provoked  by  the  senses,  vanishing  like  smoke  or  becoming 
changed  to  hatred.  Without  being  blind  to  the  weaknesses  of 
his  partner  he  must  learn  to  like  them  as  forming  part  of  the 
person  to  whom  he  has  devoted  his  heart,  and  employ  all  his 
skill  in  correcting  them  by  affection,  instead  of  increasing  his 
own  weakness  by  leaning  on  them.  It  is  necessary,  therefore, 
neither  to  admire  nor  to  dislike  the  defects  of  the  loved  one, 
but  to  try  and  attenuate  them  by  aid  of  integral  love. 

Love  has  been  defined  as  "dual  egoism."  The  reciprocal 
adulation  of  two  human  beings  easily  degenerates  into  egoistic 
enmity  toward  the  rest  of  the  human  race,  and  this  often  reacts 
harmfully  on  the  quality  of  love.  Human  solidarity  is  too  great, 
especially  at  the  present  day,  for  such  exclusivism  in  love  not 
to  suffer. 


114  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

I  would  define  ideal  love  as  follows:  After  mature  considera- 
tion, a  man  and  a  woman  are  led  by  sexual  attraction,  combined 
with  harmony  of  character,  to  form  a  union  in  which  they  stimulate 
each  other  to  social  work,  commencing  this  work  with  their  mutual 
education  and  that  of  their  children. 

Such  a  conception  of  love  refines  this  sentiment  and  purifies 
it  to  such  an  extent  that  it  loses  all  its  pettiness,  and  it  is  petti- 
ness which  so  often  causes  it  to  degenerate,  even  in  its  most 
loyal  forms.  The  social  work  in  common  of  a  man  and  woman 
united  by  true  affection,  full  of  tenderness  and  devotion  for  one 
another,  mutually  encouraging  each  other  to  perseverance  and 
to  action,  vdW  easily  triumph  over  petty  jealousies  and  all  other 
instinctive  reactions  of  the  phylogenetic  exclusiveness  of  nat- 
ural love.  The  sentiments  of  love  will  thus  become  ever  more 
ideal,  and  will  no  longer  pro\ide  egoism  with  the  soil  of  idleness 
and  comfort  on  which  it  grows  like  a  weed. 

Inconvenience  of  Abstinence  from  Sexual  Connection  Between 
Married  Couples  by  Medical  Orders. — It  is  a  matter  of  common 
observation  that  in  marriage,  at  least  during  mature  life,  sexual 
connection  strengthens  and  maintains  love,  even  when  it  only 
constitutes  part  of  that  wliich  cements  tenderness  and  affection. 
In  many  cases  I  have  observed  that  medical  orders,  given  no 
doubt  with  good  intentions,  and  forbidding  sexual  connection, 
on  account  of  certain  morbid  conditions,  have  had  the  effect 
of  cooling  the  sentiments  of  love  and  sympathy  and  producing 
indifference  which  soon  becomes  incurable.  Physicians  should 
always  bear  this  in  mind  in  their  prescriptions,  of  which  they  too 
often  see  the  immediate  object  only.  The  medical  proliibition 
of  sexual  connection  in  marriage  should  be  reserved  for  cases  of 
absolute  necessity.  For  example :  A  virtuous  and  capable  man 
marries  for  love  an  intelligent  but  somewhat  ill-developed  girl. 
The  marriage  is  happy  and  they  have  several  children.  But 
after  a  time  certain  local  disorders  in  the  woman  induce  the 
medical  man  to  forbid  sexual  connection  with  her  husband. 
They  begin  to  sleep  in  separate  rooms,  and  Uttle  by  httle  inti- 
mate love  becomes  so  far  cooled  that  the  renewal  of  sexual 
relations  later  on  becomes  impossible.  The  husband's  senti- 
ments are  so  much  affected  as  to  render  him  unfaithful  to  his 


IRRADIATIONS   OF   THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  115 

moral  principles,  and  to  lead  him  occasionally  to  visit  prosti- 
tutes. Although  they  have  become  essentially  strangers  to 
each  other,  the  husband  and  wife  continue  to  live  together  an 
apparently  happy  life ;  but  this  is  far  from  always  the  case. 

Durable  Love. — It  may  be  stated  as  a  principle  that  true  and 
elevated  love  is  durable,  and  that  the  sudden  passion  which 
lets  loose  the  sexual  appetite  toward  an  individual  of  the  oppo- 
site sex,  hitherto  a  stranger,  in  no  way  represents  the  measure 
of  true  love.  Passion  warps  the  judgment,  conceals  the  most 
evident  faults,  colors  everything  in  celestial  purple,  renders  the 
lovers  blind,  and  veils  the  true  character  of  each  from  the  other. 
We  are  only  speaking  here  of  cases  where  each  is  loyal  and  where 
the  sexual  appetite  is  not  associated  with  the  cold  calculations 
of  egoism.  Reason  only  returns  when  the  first  tempest  of  a 
passion  which  seemed  insatiable  has  subsided,  when  the  honey- 
moon of  marriage,  or  of  a  free  union,  has  passed.  Then  only  is 
it  possible  to  see  if  what  remains  is  true  love,  indifference,  hatred 
or  a  mixture  of  these  three  sentiments,  capable  or  not  of  becom- 
ing more  or  less  adaptable  and  tolerable.  This  is  why  sudden 
amours  are  always  dangerous,  and  why  only  long  and  profound 
mutual  acquaintance  before  marriage  can  lead  to  a  happy  and 
lasting  union. 

Even  in  this  case  the  unforseen  is  not  absent,  for  it  is  very 
rarely  that  one  knows  a  man  and  his  ancestry;  moreover,  ac- 
quired diseases  or  mental  anomalies  may  cause  his  character  to 
degenerate  later  on. 

Let  us  now  examine  some  psychic  phenomena  more  or  less 
connected  with  love.  For  reasons  which  we  have  mentioned 
the  irradiations  of  sexual  love  are  on  the  whole  less  developed 
in  man  than  in  woman. 

PSYCHIC   IRRADIATIONS   OF   LOVE   IN   MAN 

Masculine  Audacity. — In  the  normal  male  the  sentiment  of 
sexual  power  favors  self-exaltation,  while  the  contrary  senti- 
ment of  impotence,  or  even  that  of  mediocre  sexual  power,  de- 
presses this  sentiment  of  exaltation.  Yet,  in  reality,  the  sexual 
power  of  man  has  not  the  capital  importance  for  a  normal  and 
virgin  woman  that  men  imagine,  influenced  as  they  are  by  self- 


116  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

exaltation;  what  imposes  on  women  is  especially  masculine 
audacity,  and  in  sexual  matters  this  increases  with  experience 
and  practice.  The  company  of  prostitutes  often  renders  men 
incapable  of  understanding  feminine  psychology,  for  prostitutes 
are  hardly  more  than  automata  trained  for  the  use  of  male 
sensuality.  When  men  look  among  these  for  the  sexual  psy- 
chology of  woman  they  only  find  their  own  mirror. 
>^an's  flirtation,  and  his  art  of  paying  court  to  women  are 
naturally  combined  w^th  his  audacity,  as  we  have  already  ob- 
served in  birds  and  mammals,  and  some  of  the  lower  animals. 
The  male  seeks  to  please  the  female  to  gain  her  favors.  The 
brilliant  colors  of  butterflies  and  birds,  song,  skill  and  proof  of 
strength,  often  come  to  the  aid  of  the  male  sexual  instinct. 
Even  in  certain  animals  supplicant  and  plaintive  sounds  assist 
the  male  after  his  repeated  refusal,  apparently  or  in  reality,  by 
the  female.  We  shall  see  in  Chapter  VI  that  savage  men  have 
a  much  greater  tendency  to  tattoo  and  adorn  themselves  than 
have  the  women.^^ 

A  The  art  which  man  employs  to  seduce  and  conquer  woman 
has  been  described  to  satiety  in  romances  and  novels,  as  well  as  , , 
in  ethnogi-aphic  works;  so  that  we  shall  not  dwell  on  it  here. 
On  the  contrary,  we  shall  show  that  in  higher  civilizations  man 
is  in  general  more  sought  after  than  woman,  so  that  the  latter 
has  surpassed  him  in  the  art  of  flirtation  or  sexual  conquest^^i**^  f 

It  is  also  important  to  remark  to  what  extent  the  increase  of 
man's  mental  complexity  transforms  his  sexual  tactics.  The 
simple,  natural,  and  at  the  same  time  bashful,  modest  man-  . 
ner,  in  which  a  naive  young  man  seeks  to  conquer  a  heart, 
usually  produces  no  effect  on  the  fashionable  young  lady,  ex- 
perienced in  all  refined  pleasures  and  saturated  with  unhealthy 
novels.  These  young  women  are  much  more  easily  seduced  by 
the  art  of  Don  Juan  and  the  old  roues,  who  are  more  adequate 
to  deal  wnth  them  because  they  have  studied  practically  the 
psychology  of  the  modern  woman.  / 

y^ Instinct  of  Procreation. — Another  irradiation  of  the  male  sex- 
ual instinct,  connected  with  the  preceding,  is  the  instinct  of 
procreation.  If  there  were  no  other  difficulties  or  consequences, 
man  would  without  the  least  doubt  be  instinctively  inclined  to 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  117 

copulate  with  as  many  women  as  he  could,  and  procreate  as 
many  children  as  possible.  The  more  he  is  capable  of  satisfy- 
ing his  procreative  instinct,  the  more  he  becomes  self-exalted,  as 
he  thus  sees  himself  multiplied  and  feels  his  power  extended  by 
the  possession  of  a  great  number  of  wives  and  children.  This 
is  one  of  the  principal  causes  which  urge  rich  men  and  polyga- 
mous peoples  to  possess  many  v^omen.y^ 

Coitus  without  object,  like  that  of  prostitution,  can  only 
assuage  the  sexual  appetite  and  does  not  satisfy  any  of  its  higher 
irradiations.  It  is  well  known  that  a  happy  betrothal,  reposing 
on  true  love,  and  not  on  pecuniary  interests,  often  transforms  a 
young  man  from  pessimism  to  optimism,  from  misogyny  to 
philogyny.  Skeptics  smile  at  this  transformation  and  regard  it 
as  only  the  transient  intoxication  of  love.  This  may  be  true  in 
some  cases,  but,  as  we  have  seen  above,  when  love  is  ennobled 
by  deep  understanding  and  mutual  education,  when  each  knows 
and  respects  the  other,  the  transformation  remains  definite,  and 
is  strengthened  so  much  that  the  honeymoon  of  the  silver  wed- 
ding is  often  happier  and  more  exalted  than  that  which  followed 
marriage.  We  can  then  say  that  the  optimism  created  by  sex- 
ual union  cemented  by  true  love  rests  on  the  normal  accom- 
plishment of  the  object  of  life.  I  cannot  too  often  repeat  that 
work  in  common,  especially  social  work,  on  the  part  of  the  con- 
joints, is  necessary  for  their  happiness  to  be  complete,  and  to 
survive  in  the  one  who  remains  after  the  decease  of  the  other. 

Jealousy. — The  worst  irradiation,  or  rather  the  worst  reacX. 
tion  of  contrast  of  love,  which  we  have  inherited  from  our  ani- 
mal ancestors,  and  that  which  is  the  most  deeply  rooted,  is 
jealousy.  Jealousy  is  a  heritage  of  animals  and  barbarism;  that 
is  what  I  would  say  to  all  those  who,  in  the  name  of  offended 
honor,  would  grant  it  rights  and  even  place  it  on  a  pedestal.  It 
is  ten  times  better  for  a  woman  to  marry  an  unfaithful  than  a 
jealous  husband.  From  the  phylogenetic  point  of  view,  jeal- 
ousy originates  in  the  struggle  for  the  possession  of  woman,  at 
a  period  when  right  depended  only  on  brute  force.  Cunning 
and  violence  contended  with  each  other,  and  when  the  con- 
queror was  in  possession  of  a  female,  he  had  to  guard  her  jeal- 
ously to  prevent  her  being  abducted.     Furious  combats  ensued. 


118  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

As  soon  as  an  unaccustomed  approach,  a  look  or  anything  else 
awakened  the  least  suspicion  of  the  presence  of  a  rival,  the  male 
was  tormented  with  a  continual  and  instinctive  feeling  of 
defiance  and  distrust,  often  increased  by  the  remembrance  of 
the  sadness  of  former  defeats  and  the  impotent  rage  which 
followed, 
^^^^e  results  of  male  jealousy  in  the  history  of  marriage  are 
truly  incredible.  I  may  mention  the  iron  girdles  with  locks — 
the  so-called  girdles  of  chastity — which  we  still  see  in  certain 
museums,  which  the  knights  of  the  Middle  Ages  put  on  their 
wives  when  they  set  off  to  the  wars,  in  order  to  appease  their 
jealousy.  Many  savage  peoples  do  not  content  themselves 
with  severely  punishing  adultery  in  woman,  even  by  death, 
but  even  simple  conversations  with  a  strange  mam**^  Jealousy 
transforms  marriage  into  a  hell.  It  is  often  exalted  in  man  to 
the  point  of  a  mania  for  persecution,  to  which  it  is  analogous. 
It  is  also  a  very  common  symptom  of  alcoholism.  Then  the 
life  of  the  unfortunate  woman  who  is  the  object  of  it  becomes  a 
continual  mart3Tdom.  Perpetual  suspicion  accompanied  by 
insults,  threats  and  violent  words,  and  even  homicide  may  be 
the  result  of  this  atrocious  passion. 

Even  in  its  more  moderate  and  normal  form,  jealousy  is  a 
torment,  for  distrust  and  suspicion  poison  love.  We  often  hear 
of  justified  jealousy;  I  maintain,  on  the  contrary,  that  jealousy 
is  never  justified,  and  that  it  is  only  the  brutal  stupidity  of  an 
atavistic  heritage,  or  a  pathological  symptom.  A  reasonable 
man  who  has  doubts  as  to  the  fidelity  of  his  wife  has  certainly 
the  right  to  assure  himself  of  their  correctness.  But  of  what 
use  is  it  to  be  jealous?  If  he  finds  his  suspicions  false  he  has, 
by  his  manner,  made  his  wife  unnecessarily  unhappy  and  de- 
stroyed conjugal  confidence  and  happiness.  If,  on  the  con- 
trary, his  suspicions  are  well  founded  he  has  only  to  choose 
between  one  of  two  ways.  If  it  is  a  case  of  amorous  intoxica- 
tion suggested  by  another  man  to  his  wife,  who  is  often  very 
unhappy  about  it,  she  may  then  be  restored  to  her  husband 
and  pardoned,  for  in  this  case  affection  only  can  cure  her,  never 
jealousy.  If,  however,  love  for  her  husband  is  entirely  extin- 
guished in  her,  or  if  she  is  only  a  false  intriguer  without  char- 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  119 

acter,  jealousy  is  even  more  absurd,  for  the  game  is  not  worth 
the  candle,  and  immediate  divorce  is  necessary. 

Unfortunately,  man  only  possesses  very  little  control  over 
his  feelings  when  these  are  violent.  The  jealous  person  by 
nature,  that  is  by  heredity,  is  generally  incurable  and  poisons 
his  own  existence  at  the  same  time  as  that  of  his  wife.  Such 
individuals  should  never  marry. 

In  lunatic  asylums,  in  law,  and  in  novels  jealousy  plays  an 
important  part,  for  it  is  one  of  the  most  fruitful  sources  of 
tragedies  and  human  unhappiness.  The  combined  and  perse- 
vering efforts  of  education  and  selection  are  necessary  to  grad- 
ually eliminate  it  from  the  human  brain.  We  often  hear  it 
said  of  man  and  woman  that  they  are  not  jealous  enough, 
because  they  are  too  indulgent  toward  the  extra-nuptial  incli- 
nations of  their  conjoint.  When  such  indulgence  rests  on 
cynical  indifference  or  on  pecuniary  interests,  it  is  not  the  want 
of  jealousy  but  the  want  of  moral  sense  which  is  to  blame.  If 
it  arises  from  real  and  reasoned  love,  it  should  on  the  contrary 
be  highly  respected  and  praised.  I  would  wish  all  heroes  of 
offended  honor  and  all  defenders  of  jealousy  to  reflect  on  the 
following  case: 

A  man  of  high  position,  and  the  father  of  five  children,  lived 
in  the  most  happy  union.  One  day  he  made  the  acquaintance 
of  a  friend  of  his  wife,  a  very  intelligent  and  well-educated  lady. 
Frequent  visits  and  long  conversations  led  to  intimacy  which 
developed  into  violent  reciprocal  love.  However,  the  lady  re- 
fused to  abandon  herself  entirely.  The  husband  confessed 
everything  to  his  wife,  even  to  the  smallest  details,  and  the  lady 
did  the  same.  Instead  of  becoming  jealous,  the  wife  had  the 
good  sense  and  the  courage  to  treat  the  two  lovers  not  only  with 
indulgence,  but  a  true  and  profound  affection.  The  loyalty  of 
each  of  the  parties  interested  greatly  facilitated  the  gradual 
denouement  of  a  difficult  situation,  without  the  family  affections 
suffering.  But  the  denouement  would  have  been  quite  as 
peaceful  if  the  lady  had  yielded  to  sexual  connection  with  the 
husband.  In  fact,  the  wife  herself  considered  this  question 
very  seriously  and  calmly,  in  case  the  fire  could  not  be  other- 
wise extinguished. 


120  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

I  ask  in  all  sincerity,  if  such  mild  and  humane  treatment  of 
an  unfortunate  love  affau",  in  which  the  three  interested  parties 
each  strove  to  avoid  all  scandal  and  everything  which  could 
damage  their  mutual  reputation,  I  ask  if  this  good  and  loyal 
treatment  is  not,  from  the  moral  standpoint,  far  superior  to 
scenes  of  jealousy,  duels,  divorces  and  all  their  consequences, 
things  which  are  all  sanctioned  and  even  sanctified  by  custom? 

I  also  know  many  cases  where  the  husbands  of  women  who 
have  fallen  in  love  wdth  other  men  have  conducted  themselves 
in  an  equally  noble  and  reasonable  manner,  even  when  their 
wives  had  been  completely  unfaithful,  and  the  results  have 
always  been  good.  It  is  needless  to  say  that  I  do  not  wish  to 
maintain  that  a  husband  should  tolerate  indefinitely  the  bad 
conduct  of  his  wife,  nor  a  woman  that  of  her  husband;  but  this 
is  another  thing. 

Sexiial  Braggardism. — Let  us  pass  on  to  another  irradiation  of 
the  male  sexual  appetite — sexual  braggardism.  This  arises  from 
self-exaltation  evolved  from  the  sexual  power  of  man.  Like 
jealousy,  this  sentiment  is  no  doubt  inherited  from  our  animal 
ancestors,  and  it  finds  its  analogy,  or  rather  its  caricature,  in 
the  cock,  the  peacock,  the  tm-key,  and  in  general  among  the 
richly  adorned  males  of  polygamous  species.  Although  on  the 
whole  more  innocent,  the  results  of  this  atavistic  instinct  are  no 
more  elevated  than  those  of  jealousy.  The  sentiment  of  sexual 
power  induces  men,  especially  those  of  lower  mental  caliber,  to 
boast  of  their  sexual  conquests  and  exaggerate  them.  It  is 
needless  to  say  that  success  does  not  go  to  the  unskillful  boaster, 
but  to  the  one  who  relates  his  audacious  exploits  in  a  casual  way. 
The  Don  Juan  experienced  in  the  art  of  seduction  approaches 
women  with  audacity  and  aplomb,  and  usually  imposes  on  them 
considerably,  whatever  his  ignorance  of  other  things.  He  has 
instinctively  learnt  one  thing:  viz.,  the  weakness  of  woman  in 
the  face  of  the  male  form,  theatrical  effect,  uniforms,  an  auda- 
cious act,  a  fierce  mustache,  etc.  He  has  learnt  that  these 
fireworks  hypnotize  her  and  silence  her  reason,  and  that  she  is 
then  capable  of  enthusiasm  for  the  most  doubtful  cavalier  and 
delivers  herself  to  him  bound  hand  and  foot,  provided  his  self- 
assurance  does  not  desert  him. 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  121 

I  may  say  here  that  it  is  most  often  men  of  low  intellect,  weak 
in  judgment  and  principles,  who  think  themselves  most  superior 
to  the  feminine  sex,  and  who  behave  as  tyrants  to  their  wives. 

Sexual  braggardism  has,  moreover,  grave  consequences  for 
the  man  himself,  for  it  urges  him  to  excesses  which  far  exceed 
his  appetites  and  especially  his  natural  wants.  In  spite  of  other 
advantages,  he  wishes  to  shine  by  these  excesses  among  his 
fellows  and  even  among  the  grisettes  whose  minds  are  full  of 
sexual  matters. 

Male  sexual  braggardism  contributes  with  sexual  appetite 
to  entice  reserved  and  high-minded  young  men  toward  pros- 
titutes, against  their  better  instincts,  their  reason  and  their 
moral  sense.  Alcohol  especially  facilitates  the  degeneration  of 
sexual  life. 

The  Pornographic  Spirit. — The  term  eroticism  is  given  to  the 
state  of  excitation  of  the  sexual  appetite.  When  a  person  cul- 
tivates it  artificially  and  abandons  himself  to  purely  animal 
sensuality,  without  combining  it  with  higher  intellectual  or  moral 
aspirations,  there  develop  in  the  mind  irradiations  which  may 
be  designated  by  the  term  pornographic  spirit.  The  entire  circle 
of  ideas  of  such  individuals  is  so  impregnated  with  eroticism 
that  all  their  thoughts  and  sentiments  are  colored  by  it.  They 
see  everywhere,  even  in  the  most  innocent  objects,  the  most 
lewd  allusions.  Woman  is  only  regarded  by  them  as  an  object 
of  sexual  enjoyment,  and  her  mind  only  appears  to  such  satyrs 
as  an  ignoble  erotic  caricatm-e,  which  is  disgusting  to  every  man 
capable  of  lofty  sentiments. 

Owing  to  its  usually  sensual  and  gross  nature,  male  eroticism 
has  succeeded  in  modeling  a  whole  class  of  women  in  whom  ideal 
character  in  their  desires  is  wanting.  Instead  of  recognizing 
his  own  work  and  the  vile  image  of  his  own  person  in  these  un- 
natural women,  the  libertine,  as  we  have  already  seen,  imagines 
them  as  the  normal  type  of  woman.  From  the  height  of  his 
presumption,  he  then  despises  woman  and  does  not  perceive 
that  it  is  himself  whom  he  despises;  for  on  the  whole,  from  the 
sexual  point  of  view,  the  dependent  woman  of  to-day  conforms 
herself  to  man  and  becomes  what  he  makes  her.  The  number 
of  coitus,  their  details,  the  size  and  form  of  the  sexual  organs, 


122  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

the  pleasure  of  having  cut  out  other  men,  and  especially  the 
pathological  perversions  of  the  sexual  appetite,  form  the  chief 
object  of  the  thoughts  and  conversations  of  pornographic  minds. 
Each  tries  to  outdo  the  others  in  sexual  enormities,  and  the 
virtuosity  of  these  gentlemen  in  this  domain  is  only  surpassed 
by  their  ignorance  and  incapacity  in  all  others. 

Prostitution  and  all  the  modern  sexual  degeneration  which 
marches  under  the  hj^pocritical  flag  of  Christianity,  civilization 
and  monogamy,  have  so  far  developed  the  pornographic  spirit 
that  men  li\dng  in  centers  of  debaucherj',  center^  which  are  im- 
fortunately  extending  more  and  more  from  town  to  country, 
lose  all  conception  of  the  noble  qualities  natural  to  the  feminine 
sentiment  and  to  true  love,  or  only  preserve  a  few  shreds  of  it 
which  they  treat  with  ridicule.  Many  men  have  admitted  this 
to  me,  after  being  much  astonished  when  I  was  obliged  to  give 
them  quite  another  conception  of  love  and  woman,  without 
introducing  the  least  trace  of  religion.  No  doubt  certain  better 
individuals,  fallen  by  chance  into  debaucher)^,  speak  respect- 
fully of  a  mother  or  a  sister,  for  whom  they  profess  an  almost 
religious  worship.  They  regard  these  as  beings  apart,  as  species 
of  a  lost  race  of  demigods,  and  they  do  not  perceive  that  they 
discredit  them  and  drag  them  in  the  mud  by  their  contempt 
and  pornographic  conception  of  woman  in  general,  a  conception 
which  is  moreover  often  altered  to  profound  pessimism. 

In  the  relatively  moral  circles  of  society,  our  description 
would  no  doubt  be  taxed  with,  exaggeration,  because  natm'es  a 
little  more  refined  have  the  habit  of  acting  like  the  ostrich  who 
hides  his  head  in  the  sand,  that  is  to  say  of  tm-ning  their  eyes 
away  from  the  pornogi'aphic  swamp  with  disgust  so  as  not  to 
see  it,  and  thus  avoid  it  instinctively.  But  this  maneuver 
serves  no  pm-pose:   the  facts  remain  as  they  are. 

Eroticism  is  no  more  a  vice  than  sexual  anaesthesia  is  a  wtue. 
Even  when  they  are  chaste,  men  of  libidinous  nature  require  a 
strong  ^\'ill  to  resist  all  the  artificial  seductions  which  excite  their 
sensuaUty.  This  is  why  the  bog  of  del3aucher5'  engulfs  so  many 
men  of  a  naturally  good  nature.  In  this  sense,  cold  natures  are 
better  off;  they  can  cover  themselves  with  the  glory  of  a ''  virtue  " 
the  resplendent  rays  of  which  become  lost  in  a  penumbra  of 


IRRADIATIONS   OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  123 

defects  and  weaknesses  from  which  these  natures  suffer  in  other 
domains. 

Sexual  Hypocrisy. — Hypocrisy  is  a  peculiarity  deeply  rooted 
in  the  human  mind.  We  can  affirm  that  whoever  pretends  never 
to  have  been  a  hypocrite  lies,  quite  as  much  as  one  who  swears 
he  has  never  lied.  But  nowhere,  save  perhaps  in  the  domain  of 
religion,  does  hj^ocrisy  play  a  greater  part  than  in  the  sexual 
domain.  Nowhere  is  there  so  much  falsehood,  and  men  who  are 
most  honest  on  other  points  make  no  scruple  of  deceiving  their 
wives  in  this  respect.  I  do  not  speak  here  of  the  simulation  of 
sentiments  of  love,  for  it  is  too  banal,  and  there  is  no  need  to 
be  too  exacting  over  this  point,  for  there  are  strong  attenuating 
circumstances. 

First  of  all,  erotic  feelings  are  capable  of  blinding  man  for  the 
moment,  as  far  as  persuading  him  of  the  eternal  duration  of  love 
and  fidelity  which  he  promises  the  object  of  his  appetites,  as' 
well  as  of  the  reahty  of  the  celestial  qualities  under  which  this 
object  appears  to  him,  or  vnih  which  it  pleases  him  to  adorn  it. 
Two  persons  mutually  excited  by  sexual  passion  are  fascinated 
by  the  illusions  of  a  mirage,  which  often  vanishes  soon  afterward, 
so  that  it  is  not  rare  to  see  them  on  the  following  day  hurling  the 
most  violent  abuse  at  each  other. 

Those  who  have  not  been  witnesses  of  such  events  may  hardly 
believe  them.  It  is  sufficient,  however,  to  be  a  magistrate  or 
to  read  the  reports  of  lawsuits  between  debased  persons  as  the 
result  of  love  quarrels,  broken  engagements  or  marriages,  seduc- 
tions, etc.,  to  study  the  letters  that  the  two  parties  have  wiitten 
before  and  after  their  quarrel,  in  order  to  be  convinced  of  the 
correctness  of  what  we  have  said  above.  In  the  first  letters  the 
lovers  adulate  each  other  and  adorn  each  other  "with  the  most 
hyperbolic  epithets,  swearing  eternal  love  and  fidelity,  and  de- 
luding each  other  in  the  most  absurd  manner.  In  letters  written 
sometimes  only  a  few  days  later  we  are  astonished  to  see  the 
same  individuals  grossly  insulting  each  other  and  mutually  cov- 
ering themselves  with  ignoble  calumnies.  This  is  how  passion 
without  reason  passes  through  the  furnaces  of  love  and  hatred, 
dragging  after  it  all  the  artificial  scaffolding  of  what  man  imag- 
ines to  be  his  right  based  on  logic,  but  which  is  in  reality  only  a 


124  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

tissue  of  ridiculous  contradictions,  the  automatic  and  inept 
product  of  his  emotional  state.  Such  contrasts  are  so  frequent 
that  we  can  easily  recognize  the  expression  of  a  psychological 
law,  due  to  the  mirages  of  the  amorous  passions  on  the  one  hand 
and  the  inverse  reaction  on  the  other. 

Nevertheless  hypocrisy  has  its  good  side.  It  has  been  said 
not  without  reason  that  "hypocrisy  is  a  concession  which  vice 
makes  to  virtue."  In  their  nakedness  human  thoughts  are  often 
so  sadly  vulgar  and  so  offensive  that  a  little  varnish  improves 
them.  In  this  sense,  and  when  it  comes  from  a.feeling  of  shame 
or  good-will,  hypocrisy  deserves  a  good  deal  of  the  eulogy  which 
Mark  Twain  has  heaped  on  it  in  his  charming  satire,  ''The 
Decadence  of  the  Art  of  Lying." 

In  the  sexual  question  hypocrisy  is  directly  provoked  by  the 
tjrranny  and  barbarism  of  what  are  called  good  manners,  often 
even  by  the  law.  In  this  sense  it  constitutes  a  response  of  hu- 
man nature  to  the  forms  and  customs  derived  from  the  right  of 
the  stronger  or  from  religious  superstitions,  as  well  as  from  the 
dogmas  resulting  from  them. 

By  the  term  sexual  hypocrisy  I  do  not  mean  the  repugnant 
forms  of  hypocrisy  pure  and  simple,  in  which  man  only  ex- 
ploits love  indirectly  for  an  interested  end,  for  instance  when  he 
simulates  love  to  obtain  a  rich  wife.  I  only  speak  of  the  forms 
of  hypocrisy  which  are  directly  evolved  from  the  sexual  appetite 
or  from  love. 

It  is  from  this  point  of  view  that  we  must  judge  sexual  hypoc- 
risy, and  if  I  have  laid  special  stress  on  its  good  points,  it  is  in 
view  of  marriage,  where  it  assists  the  education  of  noble  and 
elevated  sentiments  even  in  the  hypocrite.  By  praising  the 
virtues  of  his  helpmate  with  a  little  exaggeration,  these  are 
made  to  appear  more  noble.  If  the  time  is  spent  in  saying  disa- 
greeable truths,  love  is  soon  stifled  and  killed.  On  the  con- 
trary, if  each  conjoint  attributes  to  the  other  as  fine  qualities  as 
possible,  each  is  finally  persuaded  that  the  other  really  possesses 
them,  and  then  realizes  them  himself,  at  any  rate  in  part. 

The  worst  of  hypocrisies  is  that  which  is  the  product  of  base 
pecuniary  interests,  or  of  a  gross  sexual  appetite  without  love, 
or  lastly  by  the  pressure  of  conventional  or  religious  customs. 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  125 

Good  hypocrisy  consists  in  the  repression  of  all  that  is  base  in 
the  sentiments,  inclinations  and  passions;  in  the  fact  that  one 
strives  to  hide  it  from  others,  even  from  one's  self,  and  to  sug- 
gest in  its  place  as  many  amiable  qualities  as  possible,  so  as  to 
strengthen  in  a  disinterested  maimer  the  object  of  one's  love  in 
noble  sentiments.  This  kind  of  h3'pocrisy  is  in  reality  an  indi- 
rect product  of  altruistic  sentiments.  One  perceives  with  pain 
on  reflecting,  either  the  absence  of  spontaneous  sentiments  of 
sympathy,  or  the  presence  of  disgust  and  bad  temper,  and 
one  strives  to  hide  the  thing  by  sympathetic  expressions  for 
which  one  seeks  an  object,  and  to  which  one  would  wish  to 
give  a  durable  character.  Loyal  efforts  made  in  this  direction 
often  succeed  in  correcting  the  egoistic  humor  with  which  one 
is  affected,  and  in  giving  rise  to  the  sentiments  one  desires  to 
experience.  One  must  not,  however,  by  only  looking  at  one 
side  of  the  question,  allow  such  efforts  to  degenerate  into  mala- 
droit blindness,  which  will  only  have  the  effect  of  spoiling 
the  person  one  loves. 

Egoistic  Love. — It  is  obvious  that  the  psychic  irradiations  of 
the  sexual  sense  are  strongly  influenced  by  the  individuality  of 
the  one  who  loves.  The  egoist  loves  in  a  manner  naively  ego- 
istic. He  is  not  wanting  in  fine  words,  but  in  his  opinion  all 
sentiment  and  respect  is  due  to  his  person,  while  he  reduces  to  a 
minimum  his  duties  toward  the  object  of  his  love.  He  exacts 
much  from  the  other  and  gives  little.  The  good  man  with 
altruistic  sentiments  feels  things  in  an  inverse  way;  he  exacts 
little  from  others,  and  much  from  himself. 

Love  differs  in  different  natures,  according  as  they  are  calm 
or  lively,  imbecile  or  intelligent,  well  educated  or  otherwise: 
the  will  plays  a  great  part  here.  Weakness  and  impulsiveness 
are  found  in  love,  as  well  as  energy  and  perseverance.  In  the 
last  point  woman  is  superior,  owing  to  the  greater  constancy 
of  her  love.  There  is  thus  no  domain  of  the  mind  which 
is  not  influenced  by  love,  and  which  does  not  react  on  love  in 
its  turn. 

Intellectual  occupations  are  facilitated  by  a  happy  love,  while 
they  are  usually  hindered  by  the  sorrows  of  love.  Even  men  of 
science,  so  proud  of  their  calmness,  are  often  more  influenced 


126  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

than  one  would  think  in  their  scientific  opinions  by  their  emotional 
sentiments.  Without  a  man  being  aware  of  it,  his  sentiments 
insinuate  themselves  into  the  opinions  which  he  believes  to  be  of 
a  purely  intellectual  nature,  and  direct  them  unconsciously  \nth 
much  more  power  than  he  generally  imagines.  Such  influences 
act  chiefly  on  individuals  disposed  to  sentimentality.  In  love, 
these  individuals  resemble  two-edged  swords;  the  intensity  of 
their  emotional  reactions  and  sentiments  drives  them  from  one 
extreme  to  another,  from  foolish  happiness  to  despair  or  fury. 
The  situation  becomes  still  more  grave  when  such  storms  burst 
among  impulsive  persons  of  weak  will  and  limited  intelligence. 
Under  such  circumstances  ill-assorted  alliances  are  formed  which 
lead  to  violent  quarrels,  and  sometimes  even  to  crime.  When 
jealousy  comes  on  the  scene  the  man  often  kills  the  woman  and 
commits  suicide. 

It  would  seem  that  such  crime  can  only  arise  from  egoism; 
this  is  often  the  case,  but  not  always.  Despair  may  often  lead 
to  such  acts,  without  any  motive  of  vengeance,  or  even  of  jeal- 
ousy. The  storm  of  passion  drives  weak-minded  persons  to 
impulsive  actions,  the  motives  of  which  are  veiy  difficult  to  ana- 
lyze. After  these  tragedies  of  murder  preceding  suicide,  when 
the  murderer  survives,  he  often  expresses  himself  as  follows: 
"I  was  in  such  a  state  of  despair  and  excitement  that  I  saw  no 
other  issue  than  death  for  both  of  us." 

Prudery.  Modesty. — The  sentiment  of  modesty  originates  in 
the  fear  of  everything  which  is  novel  and  unusual,  and  is  com- 
plicated by  natural  timidity.  This  sentiment  is  especially 
strong  in  children.  The  sentiment  of  sexual  modesty  in  man 
thus  rests  on  timidity  and  on  the  fear  of  not  doing  as  others  do. 
It  betrays  itself  toward  women  by  awkwardness  and  bashful- 
ness  behind  which  eroticism  is  often  ill  concealed.  The  timid 
and  bashful  man  carefully  endeavors  to  hide  his  sexual  feel- 
ings from  others.  The  object  of  modesty  is  in  itself  im- 
material to  the  psychology  of  this  sentiment,  and  shame  is 
sometimes  inspired  not  only  by  very  different  things  but  even 
by  opposite  things.  One  youth  is  ashamed  of  appearing  erotic, 
another  of  appearing  too  little  erotic,  according  to  the  opinion 
of  his  neighbors. 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  127 

Modesty  depends  on  the  custom  of  covering  or  exposing  cer- 
tain parts  of  the  body,  and  people  who  Hve  in  a  state  of  nature 
are  as  much  ashamed  of  clothes  as  we  are  ashamed  of  nudity. 
Moreover,  man  soon  becomes  accustomed  to  fashion,  and  the 
same  English  girl  who  blushes  at  the  sight  of  a  few  inches  of 
bare  skin  in  her  own  country,  finds  it  quite  natural  to  see  naked 
negroes  in  the  tropics. 

The  artificial  and  systematic  cultivation  of  an  exaggerated 
sentiment  of  modesty  produces  'prudery,  the  bad  results  of  which 
are,  however,  less  than  those  of  pornography.  There  are  young 
people  so  modest  that  the  simple  thought  of  sexual  matters 
overexcites  them  terribly.  By  associating  their  own  erotic 
feelings,  of  which  they  feel  ashamed,  with  sexual  ideas,  they 
invest  these  with  terrifying  attributes,  and  become  quite  un- 
happy; in  this  way  they  are  often  led  to  masturbation.  They  are, 
however,  excessively  frightened  at  this  also  and  imagine  its  effects 
so  terrible  that  they  think  themselves  lost.  Their  exaggerated 
feelings  of  modesty  often  prevent  them  confiding  in  some  chari- 
table person.  However,  they  rarely  find  reasonable  consolers; 
some  ridicule  them,  while  others  regard  them  as  iniquitous,  which 
only  increases  their  terror  and  drives  them  to  extremes. 

The  sexual  sentiment  of  modesty  very  often  becomes  un- 
healthy, and  is  then  easily  combined  with  pathological  sexual 
conditions. 

Prudery  is,  so  to  speak,  sexual  modesty  codified  and  dogma- 
tized. It  is  indeterminate,  because  the  object  of  modesty  is 
purely  conventional,  and  man  has  no  valid  reason  to  regard  any 
part  of  his  body  as  shameful.  Normal  man  ought  only  to  be 
ashamed  of  bad  thoughts  and  actions,  contrary  to  his  moral 
conscience.  The  latter  should  be  based  on  natural  human 
altruism  only,  and  not  artificially  misled  by  dogma. 

The  Old  Bachelor. — ^The  importance  of  the  psychic  irradiar 
tions  of  love  is  shown  perhaps  more  clearly  from  the  results  of 
their  presence  in  old  bachelors  than  from  any  other  considera- 
tion. In  our  time,  no  doubt,  the  state  of  the  old  bachelor 
rarely  means  the  renunciation  of  the  satisfaction  of  sexual 
appetite,  although  it  generally  entails  the  renunciation  of  love. 
There  are,  no  doubt,  two  kinds  of  old  bachelors,  those  who  are 


128  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

chaste  and  those  who  are  not.  The  old  bachelor  no  doubt 
leads  a  less  empty  existence  than  the  old  maid,  but  the  void 
exists  none  the  less.  Man  also  needs  compensation  for  the 
absence  of  love  and  family,  but  his  brain  is  more  capable  than 
that  of  woman  of  finding  this  compensation  in  hard  intellectual 
work  or  in  some  other  employment. 

The  old  bachelor  is  generally  pessimistic  and  morose.  He 
easily  becomes  the  slave  of  his  fads  and  hobbies,  and  the  pecu- 
liarities of  his  character  are  proverbial.  His  egoism  knows  no 
bounds,  and  his  altruistic  impulses  usually  find  too  few  objects 
or  echoes. 

The  chastity  of  some  old  bachelors  conceals  sexual  anomalies. 
But  even  apart  from  this,  the  old  celibate  easily  becomes  shy, 
affected,  misanthropic  or  misogynistic,  at  least  if  some  energetic 
friend  does  not  induce  him  to  utilize  his  power  of  work  in  some 
useful  sphere.  At  other  times  he  lavishes  exaggerated  admira- 
tion on  women  and  worships  them  in  a  pompous  manner. 

In  a  separate  category  come  those  old  bachelors  who  are 
chaste  and  celibate  for  high  moral  reasons,  and  whose  life  is 
spent  in  social  work,  although  they  are  only  men  and  cannot 
for  this  reason  free  themselves  from  all  the  peculiarities  we  have 
mentioned.  In  a  word,  the  object  of  life  is  partly  wanting  in 
the  best  of  old  bachelors,  and  this  void  not  only  affects  his  sen- 
timents but  his  whole  mental  being.  His  general  tendency  to 
pessimism  and  egoism  would  be  sufficient  alone  to  provoke  an 
energetic  protest  against  the  abandonment  of  social  power  to 
celibates. 

The  old  bachelor  who  is  not  chaste  generally  descends  to  por- 
nography, only  becoming  acquainted  with  the  worst  side  of 
woman.  He  becomes  a  misogynist  because  he  wrongly  attrib- 
utes to  all  women  the  character  of  those  only  with  whom  he 
has  intimate  relations.  We  have  already  pointed  out  this  phe- 
nomenon in  speaking  of  male  eroticism.  The  philosopher, 
Schopenhauer,  was  an  example  of  this  kind. 

PSYCHIC   IRRADIATIONS    OF    LOVE   IN   WOMEN 

In  speaking  of  love  in  man  we  have  already  touched  on  many 
points  which  differentiate  it  from  that  of  woman.     In  the  latter, 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  129 

the  most  prominent  peculiarity  is  the  dominant  role  which  it 
plays  in  the  brain.  Without  love  woman  abjures  her  nature 
and  ceases  to  be  normal. 

The  Old  Maid. — What  we  have  said  of  old  bachelors  applies 
in  a  still  more  marked  degree,  to  old  maids.  Still  more  than 
men  they  have  need  of  compensation  for  sexual  love,  to  avoid 
losing  their  natural  qualities  and  becoming  dried-up  beings  or 
useless  egoists.  But,  if  the  void  left  by  love  is  greater  in  her, 
woman  possesses  such  natural  energy  and  perseverance,  com- 
bined with  such  great  power  of  devotion,  that  on  the  whole  she 
is  more  capable  than  man  of  accomplishing  the  work  which  the 
void  in  her  existence  requires.  Unfortunately,  many  women  do 
not  understand  this.  On  the  other  hand,  those  who  devote 
themselves  to  social  philanthropic  works,  to  art  or  literature, 
to  nursing  the  sick  or  to  other  useful  occupations,  instead  of 
amusing  themselves  with  futile  things,  may  greatly  distinguish 
themselves  in  such  social  pursuits,  and  thus  obtain  real  compen- 
sation for  the  loss  of  love. 

In  this  respect  woman  was  formerly  misunderstood.  The 
modern  movement  of  her  emancipation  shows  more  and  more 
what  she  is  capable  of  and  promises  much  more  in  the  future. 

As  to  the  old  maid  who  lives  alone  with  her  egoism,  her  whims 
and  fancies  generally  exceed  those  of  the  old  bachelor.  She  has 
not  the  faculty  of  creating  anything  original  by  her  own  intel- 
lect, so  that,  having  lost  love,  all  her  mental  power  shrinks  up. 
Her  cat,  her  little  dog,  and  the  daily  care  of  her  person  and 
smaU  household  occupy  her  whole  mind.  It  is  not  surprising 
that  such  persons  generally  create  a  pitiable  and  ridiculous 
impression. 

Between  these  two  extremes  there  exists  a  category  of  un- 
married women  whose  sexual  love  finds  compensation  in  the  love 
they  bear  for  a  parent  or  a  friend  (male  or  female),  which 
although  not  sexual  is  none  the  less  ardent.  Such  occupation 
for  their  sentiments  improves  their  state  of  mind  and  partially 
fills  the  void;  however,  it  is  not  sufficient  as  a  rule  and  only 
constitutes  a  last  resource.  This  kind  of  devotion,  by  its  exclu- 
siveness,  often  produces  bad  results,  for  its  horizon  is  too  limited. 
If  the  object  of  love,  which  is  generally  too  pampered,  dies  or 


130  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

abandons  her,  she  loses  her  head;  grief,  bitterness  and  pessi- 
mism never  leave  her,  unless  she  finds  consolation  in  religious 
exaltation,  which  is  often  observed  in  other  women  deprived  of 
love.  This  last  peculiarity  is  met  with,  moreover,  in  aU  classes 
of  women,  even  among  the  married. 

Passiveness  of  Woman.  Sexual  Appetite. — Ideal  love  should 
never  be  dual  egoism.  What  happens  when  two  persons  live 
exclusively  for  each  other,  if  one  of  them  dies?  The  survivor 
sinks  into  inconsolable  despair,  all  that  his  heart  was  attached 
to  is  dead,  because  his  love  did  not  extend  to  other  human 
beings,  nor  to  social  works.  Widows  then  become  as  pitiable 
as  old  maids,  although  in  another  way,  when  they  have  lost 
the  object  of  their  exclusive  love.  This  is  why  we  recom- 
mend social  work,  not  only  for  celibates,  but  also  for  loving 
copies. 
^\  again  emphasize  the  fact  that  in  normal  women,  especially 
young  girls,  the  sexual  appetite  is  subordinate  to  love.  In  the 
young  girl  love  is  a  mixture  of  exalted  admiration  for  masculine 
courage  and  grandeur,  and  an  ardent  desire  for  affection  and 
maternity. /She  wishes  to  be  outwardly  dominated  by  a  man, 
but  to  dominate  him  by  her  heart.  This  sentimentalism  of  the 
,  young  girl,  joined  to  the  passive  role  of  her  sex,  produces  in  her 
\  a  state  of  exaltation  which  often  borders  on  ecstasy  and  then 
overcomes  all  the  resistance  of  will  and  reason.  The  woman 
surrenders  herself  to  the  man  of  whom  she  is  enamored,  or  who 
has  conquered  or  hypnotized  her.  She  is  vanquished  by  his 
embraces  and  follows  him  submissively,  and  in  such  a  state  of 
mind  she  is  capable  of  any  folly. 

Although  more  violent  and  impetuous  in  his  love,  man  loses 
his  sang-froid  on  the  whole  much  less  than  woman.  We  can 
therefore  say  that  the  relative  power  of  sentiment  is  on  the 
average  greater  in  woman,  in  spite  of  her  passive  role. 

I  cannot  protest  too  strongly  against  the  way  in  which  men 
of  the  day  disparage  women  and  misunderstand  them.  In  the 
way  in  which  a  young  girl  abandons  herself  to  their  sexual  ap- 
petites, in  caresses,  and  in  the  ecstasy  of  her  love,  they  think 
they  see  the  proof  of  a  purely  sensual  eroticism,  identical  to  their 
libidinous  desire  for  coitus,  while  in  reality  she  usually  does  not 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  131 

think  of  it,  at  any  rate  at  first.  The  first  coitus  is  usually  painful 
to  woman,  often  repugnant.  Many  are  the  cases  where  young 
girls,  even  when  they  knew  the  terrible  social  and  individual 
dangers  of  their  weakness,  even  when  they  have  perhaps  once 
already  experienced  the  consequences,  let  the  man  abuse  them 
without  a  word  of  complaint,  without  a  trace  of  sexual  pleasure 
or  venereal  orgasm,  simply  to  please  the  one  who  desireg.  them, 
because  he  is  so  good  and  amiable,  and  because  refusal  would 
give  him  so  much  pain.  In  his  violent  passion  and  in  his  egoism, 
man  is  generally  incapable  of  understanding  the  power  of  this 
stoicism  of  a  mind  which  surrenders  itself  in  spite  of  all  dangers 
and  all  its  interests.  He  confounds  his  own  appetites  with  the 
sentiments  of  the  woman,  and  finds  in  this  false  interpretation 
of  feminine  psychology  the  excuses  for  the  cowardice  of  which 
he  gives  proof  when  he  yields  to  his  passions.  The  psychology 
of  the  young  girl  who  surrenders  herself  has  been  admira- 
bly depicted  by  Goethe  in  Gretchen  ("Faust"),  as  weU  as  by 
de  Maupassant  on  several  occasions. 

It  is  necessary  to  know  all  these  facts  in  order  to  estimate  at 
its  true  value  the  ignominy  of  our  social  institutions  and  their 
bearing  on  woman's  life.  If  men  did  not  so  misunderstand 
women,  and  especially  if  they  were  aware  of  the  deep  injustice 
of  our  customs  and  laws  with  regard  to  them,  the  better  ones,  at 
least,  would  think  twice  before  seducing  young  girls,  to  abandon 
them  afterward  with  their  children.  I  am  only  speaking  now 
of  true  love  and  not  of  the  extortion  so  often  practiced  by  women 
of  low  character,  or  those  already  educated  in  vice. 

I  shall  say  no  more  concerning  eroticism,  which  really  exists 
in  many  women,  especially  in  those  who  are  already  experienced 
in  sexual  matters.  On  the  other  hand  there  are  women  who 
deceive  their  husbands  and  allow  themselves  to  be  seduced  by 
any  Don  Juan,  even  when  they  have  never  had  the  least  sexual 
appetite,  or  felt  a  single  venereal  orgasm.  They  allow  them- 
selves to  be  di'agged  in  the  mud  and  lose  then"  reputation,  their 
fortune  and  their  family;  they  even  let  their  seducer  trample 
them  under  foot;  they  become  defamed  and  treated  as  women 
without  character,  without  honor  and  without  any  notion  of 
duty.      They  are  simply  poor  feeble  creatures   incapable   of 


132  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

resisting  masculine  proposals.  With  good  psychological  training 
they  would  often  become  better  women,  active,  devoted  and 
full  of  life.  It  seems  hardly  credible,  but  it  is  true,  that  one 
sometimes  finds  in  this  category  women  who  are  highly  gifted. 
It  is  then  said  that  they  are  wanting  in  moral  sense,  but  this  is 
not  always  correct.  In  other  respects  they  may  be  faithful  to 
their  duty,  devoted,  sometimes  even  energetic  and  heroic;  but 
they  submit  to  masculine  influence  to  such  a  degree  that  they 
cannot  conceive  how  to  resist  it.  They  find  it  quite  natural  to 
give  way  to  it  and  their  mind  does  not  understand  that  the  com- 
plete abandonment  of  their  body  to  the  man  they  love  should 
not  necessarily  follow  immediately  after  the  abandonment  of 
their  heart,  or  even  after  the  first  kiss.  It  is  impossible  for 
them  to  make  distinctions  or  to  trace  limits. 

Idealism  in  Woman. — The  cases  I  have  just  described  are  ex- 
treme, although  very  common;  they  give  the  note  of  a  general 
phenomenon  of  feminine  love  in  its  exaltation.  It  is  needless 
to  say  that  reasonable  women  of  high  character  behave  them- 
selves in  quite  another  manner,  however  profound  their  love. 
Nevertheless  the  trait  which  we  have  just  described  is  nearly 
always  found  at  the  bottom  of  all  true  love  in  woman,  however 
much  it  may  be  veiled,  dissimulated  or  conquered. 
^^It  is  not  always  audacity  or  heroic  deeds  like  those  of  the  bold 
cavaliers  of  former  days  which  excite  love  in  woman.  The  ex- 
ternal qualities  of  man,  such  as  beauty  and  elegance,  etc.,  also 
play  a  part,  although  their  effect  may  be  less  decisive  than  that 
lof  the  bodily  charms  of  woman  in  exciting  love  in  man.  Intel- 
lectual superiority,  high  moral  actions,  and  mental  qualities  in 
j  general,  easily  affect  the  heart  of  woman,  which  becomes  exalted 
■under  their  influence.  But  every  man  who  becomes  famous 
Neither  for  good  or  evil,  the  fashionable  actor,  the  celebrated 
tenor,  etc.,  has  the  power  of  exciting  love  in  women.  Women 
without  education  or  those  of  inferior  mental  quality  are  nat- 
urally more  easily  affected  by  the  bodily  strength  of  man,  and 
by  his  external  appearance  in  general.  Many  women  are  espe- 
cially liable  to  succumb  under  the  influence  of  all  that  is  mystic. 
These  become  infatuated  by  preachers,  and  religious  enthusiasts, 
to  say  nothing  of  hypocrites.  J ' 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  133 

Nothing  is  sadder  than  the  contrast  between  the  exalted  love 
of  a  virtuous  and  chaste  young  girl,  and  the  debauched  life, 
with  its  traits  of  cynical  pornography,  of  the  majority  of  young 
men.  Guy  de  Maupassant  has  described  this  contrast  in  a  most 
striking  manner  in  his  romance  entitled  "Une  Vie."  I  know 
a  number  of  cases  in  which  the  complete  ignorance  of  young 
married  women  with  regard  to  sexual  relations,  combined  with 
the  cynical  lewdness  of  their  husbands,  has  transformed  the 
exalted  love  of  a  young  girl  into  profound  disgust,  and  has 
sometimes  even  caused  mental  disorders.  Although  not  very 
common,  the  psychoses  resulting  from  the  deception  and  shock 
of  the  nuptial  night  are  not  very  rare.  But  what  is  much  worse 
than  this  douche  of  cold  water  which  suddenly  substitutes  the 
reality  of  coitus  for  the  ideal  exaltation  of  sentiment,  are  the 
subsequent  discoveries  made  by  the  young  wife,  when  the  cyn- 
ical mind  of  her  husband  on  the  subject  of  sexual  connection 
and  love  is  unveiled  to  her  in  all  its  grossness,  resulting  from  his 
previous  life  of  debauchery.  Torn  and  sullied  in  its  deepest 
fibers,  the  feminine  mind  then  becomes  the  seat  of  a  desperate 
struggle  between  reality  full  of  deceptions  and  the  illusions  of  a 
dream  of  happiness. 

If  it  is  only  a  question  of  bad  habits,  or  want  of  tact  in  the 
husband,  behind  which  there  exists  perhaps  true  love,  the 
wounds  in  the  w^oman's  sentiment  may  heal  and  intimacy  may 
develop;  but  when  the  cjmicism  is  too  marked,  when  the  habits 
of  sexual  debauchery  are  too  inveterate,  the  love  of  a  virtuous 
woman  is  soon  stifled,  and  is  changed  to  resignation  and  dis- 
gust, often  to  martyrdom  or  hatred. 

In  other  cases  the  woman  is  weak  and  ill-developed  and 
allows  herself  to  sink  to  the  level  of  her  husband's  sentiments. 
Sometimes,  the  crisis  is  accentuated  and  leads  to  divorce.  In 
de  Maupassant's  "Une  Vie,"  he  describes  with  profound  insight 
the  continuous  deceptions  of  a  young  innocent  and  sentimental 
girl  who  marries  an  egoistic  roue,  and  whose  life  is  transformed 
into  martyi'dom  and  completely  ruined.  De  Maupassant's  roman- 
ces contain  such  true  psychology  of  sexual  life  and  love  in  all 
their  forms,  often  even  in  their  exceptional  aberrations,  that 
they  furnish  an  admirable  illustration  to  the  present  chapter. 


134  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Petticoat  Government. — A  series  of  most  important  irradia- 
tions of  love  in  woman  results  from  the  need  she  feels  of  being, 
if  not  dominated,  at  least  protected  by  her  husband.  To  be 
happy,  a  woman  must  be  able  to  respect  her  husband  and  even 
regard  him  with  more  or  less  veneration;  she  must  see  in  him 
the  realization  of  an  ideal,  either  of  bodily  strength,  courage,  un- 
selfishness or  superior  intellect.  If  this  is  not  the  case,  the  hus- 
band easily  falls  under  the  petticoat  government,  or  indifference 
and  antipathy  may  develop  in  the  wife,  at  least  if  misfortune  or 
illness  in  the  husband  does  not  excite  her  pity  and  transform  her 
into  a  resigned  nurse. 

Petticoat  govermnent  can  hardly  make  a  household  truly 
happy,  for  here  the  positions  are  reversed  and  the  wife  rules 
because  the  husband  is  weak.  But  the  normal  instinct  of  woman 
is  to  rule  over  the  heart  of  man,  not  over  his  intelligence  or 
on  his  will.  Ruling  in  these  last  domains  may  flatter  a  woman's 
vanity  and  render  it  dominating,  but  it  never  satisfies  her  heart, 
and  this  is  why  the  woman  who  rules  is  so  often  unfaithful  to 
her  husband,  if  not  in  deed,  at  least  in  thought. 

In  such  a  union  she  has  not  found  the  true  love  which  she 
sought,  and  for  this  reason,  if  her  moral  principles  are  weak, 
she  looks  for  compensation  in  some  Don  Juan.  If  the  woman 
in  question  has  a  strong  character,  or  if  she  is  sexually  cold,  she 
may  easily  become  sour  and  bitter.  These  women,  who  are  not 
rare,  are  to  be  dreaded;  their  plighted  love  is  transformed  into 
hatred,  bad  temper  or  jealousy,  and  only  finds  satisfaction  in 
the  torment  of  others. 

The  psychology  of  this  kind  of  woman  is  interesting.  They 
are  not  usually  conscious  of  their  malice.  The  chronic  bitter- 
ness resulting  from  an  unfortunate  hereditary  disposition  in 
their  character,  as  much  as  from  their  outraged  feelings,  makes 
them  take  a  dislike  to  the  world  and  renders  them  incapable  of 
seeing  anything  but  the  worst  side  of  people.  They  become  ac- 
customed to  disparage  everything  automatically,  to  take  offense 
at  everything  and  to  speak  ill  of  everything  on  every  occasion. 
They  are  unhappy,  but  they  find  a  diabolical  joy  in  all  misfor- 
tune where  they  see  the  confirmation  of  their  somber  prophecies, 
the  only  satisfaction  which  is  capable  of  exalting  them. 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  135 

We  have  just  said  that  a  certain  constitutional  disposition  is 
necessary  for  such  a  deplorable  change  in  feminine  sentiments  to 
be  produced;  but  this  disposition  is  often  only  developed  under 
the  influence  of  circumstances  which  we  have  indicated  or 
analogous  ones. 

It  is  impossible  for  the  life  in  common  of  two  conjoints  not  to 
reveal  their  reciprocal  failings.  But  true  love  generally  suffices 
to  definitely  cement  a  union,  provided  that  the  wife  finds  a 
support  in  the  steadfast  nature  of  her  husband,  which  then 
serves  as  her  ideal.  It  is  also  necessary  that  the  husband, 
finding  sentiments  of  devoted  love  in  his  wife,  should  recipro- 
cate them.  These  conditions  are  sufficient,  if  both  devote  their 
efforts  to  the  maintenance  of  their  family  and  the  social  welfare. 

Maternal  Love. — The  most  profound  and  most  natural  irra- 
diation of  the  sexual  appetite  in  woman  is  maternal  love.  A 
mother  who  does  not  love  her  children  is  an  unnatural  being, 
and  a  man  who  does  not  understand  the  desires  of  maternity  in 
his  wife,  and  does  not  respect  them,  is  not  worthy  of  her  love. 
Sometimes  egoism  renders  a  man  jealous  of  the  love  which  his 
wife  bears  to  his  children.  At  other  times,  the  father  may 
show  more  love  for  the  children  than  their  mother;  such  excep- 
tions only  prove  the  rule. 

The  most  beautiful  and  most  natural  of  the  irradiations  of 
love  is  the  joy  of  parents  at  the  birth  of  their  children,  a  joy 
which  is  one  of  the  strongest  bonds  of  conjugal  affection,  and 
which  helps  the  couple  in  triumphing  over  the  conflicting  elements 
in  their  characters,  and  in  raising  the  moral  level  of  their  recip- 
rocal sentiments,  for  it  realizes  the  natural  object  of  sexual  union. 

A  true  woman  rejoices  at  the  progress  of  her  pregnancy. 
The  last  pains  of  childbirth  have  hardly  ceased  before  she 
laughs  with  joy,  and  pride,  at  hearing  the  first  cries  of  the  newly 
born.  The  instinctive  outburst  of  maternal  love  toward  the 
new-born  child  corresponds  to  a  natural  imprescriptible  right 
of  the  child,  for  it  needs  the  continual  care  of  its  mother.  Noth- 
ing is  so  beautiful  in  the  world  as  the  radiant  joy  of  a  young 
mother  nursing  her  child,  and  no  sign  of  degeneration  is  more 
painful  than  that  of  mothers  who  abandon  their  cliildren  without 
absolute  necessity,  to  strange  hands. 


136  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

On  the  other  hand  reason  must  intervene.  The  instructive 
transports  of  maternal  love  soon  require  a  counterpoise.  It  is 
important  to  prevent  them  from  degenerating  into  unreasonable 
spoiling,  by  scientific  and  medical  education  of  the  infants. 
Modern  medical  art  has  made  great  progi'ess  in  this  direction, 
but  unfortunately,  egoism,  neghgence,  routine,  the  desire  of 
enjoyment,  or  often  the  poverty  of  many  mothers  prevent  them 
from  benefiting  from  this  progress  and  appljdng  it  as  they 
should.  Instead  of  looking  after  their  children  they  leave  them 
to  nurses.  The  latter  may  be  necessary  to  help  and  instruct 
young  -ft-ives  during  their  first  childbirth;  but  a  natural  mother 
will  profit  by  these  instructions  and  "ftdll  herself  become  an 
excellent  nurse,  because  she  vtlH  feel  her  natural  ties  and  will 
consecrate  herself  to  them  with  the  devotion  of  a  maternal  love 
heightened  and  refined  by  reason  and  knowledge.  Among  the 
lower  classes  the  poverty  and  ignorance  of  mothers,  often  also 
their  thoughtlessness  and  indolence,  are  an  obstacle  to  the 
rational  education  of  infants. 

"Monkey's  Love." — Maternal  love  thus  constitutes  the  most 
important  irradiation  of  the  sexual  instincts  in  woman.  It 
very  easily  degenerates  into  weakness,  that  is  to  say  into  un- 
reasonable passion  and  blind  compliance  with  all  the  faults  of 
the  child,  which  the  mother  excuses  and  transforms  into  vu'- 
tues.  The  foibles  of  maternal  love  do  much  harm  to  the  child 
and  are  often  the  origin  of  bitter  deceptions.  Hereditary  weak- 
ness of  character  here  plays  a  great,  or  even  the  principal 
part.  Nevertheless,  maternal  foibles  have  other  causes — riches, 
absence  of  culture,  idleness,  too  few  children,  etc. 

The  best  antidote  for  this  unreasonable  maternal  love,  which 
the  Germans  call  "monkey's  love"  consists  in  active  occupa- 
tions for  the  mother,  combined  with  a  healthy  education  of  her 
character.  Work  alone  is  not  sufficient,  if  the  mother  has  lim- 
ited ideas,  and  if  she  is  not  freed  from  routine,  ignorance,  super- 
stition and  weakness  of  will. 

Sentiments  and  Perseverance. — The  power  of  love  in  woman 
does  not  rest  alone  on  the  varied  harmony  of  her  sentiments  of 
sympathy  for  her  husband  and  children,  and  on  the  extraordi- 
nary finesse  and  natural  tact  which  she  adds  to  it;  such  quahties 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  137 

make  her,  no  doubt,  the  ray  of  sunshine  in  the  family  hfc;  but 
more  powerful  still  are  the  tenacity  and  perseverance  of  her  love. 

In  general,  it  is  by  will-power  that  woman  is  superior  to  man, 
and  it  is  in  the  domain  of  love  that  this  superiority  shines  in  all 
its  glory.  As  a  general  rule  it  is  the  wife  who  sustains  the 
family.  Among  the  common  people,  it  is  she  who  economizes, 
she  who  watches  carefully  over  all  and  corrects  the  failings,  the 
passionate  and  impulsive  acts,  the  discouragements,  so  frequent 
with  the  husband.  How  often  do  we  see  the  father  abandon 
the  children,  waste  his  earnings  and  leave  his  situation  under 
some  futile  pretext,  while  his  courageous  wife,  although  suffering 
from  hunger  and  destitution,  holds  firm  and  manages  to  save  the 
debris  which  has  escaped  the  excesses  and  egoism  of  the  husband. 

The  husband  of  a  feeble  or  alcoholic  wife  sometimes  becomes 
the  sole  support  of  the  family,  but  such  exceptions  only  prove 
the  rule,  that  where  the  normal  love  and  courage  of  woman  are 
wanting,  the  family  becomes  broken  up,  for  man  very  rarely 
possesses  the  necessary  faculties  for  its  preservation. 

It  follows  from  these  facts  that  the  modern  tendency  of 
women  to  become  pleasure-seekers,  and  to  take  a  dislike  to 
maternity,  leads  to  complete  degeneration  of  society.  This  is  a 
grave  social  evil,  which  rapidly  changes  the  qualities  and  power 
of  expansion  of  a  race,  and  which  must  be  cured  in  time,  or  the 
race  affected  by  it  will  be  supplanted  by  others. 

If  the  feminine  mind  is  generally  wanting  in  intellectual 
imagination  and  power  of  combination,  it  is  all  the  more  pow- 
erful in  the  practical  intuition  of  its  judgment  and  in  sentimental 
imagination.  The  finesse  of  its  moral  and  sesthetic  sentiments, 
its  natural  tact,  its  instructive  desire  to  put  some  element  of 
poetry  into  all  the  details  of  life,  contribute  to  form  true  family 
happiness,  a  happiness  which  the  husband  and  children  too  often 
enjoy  without  fully  realizing  the  devoted  labor,  the  love  and  the 
pains  which  the  mother  has  given  to  create  it. 

Routine. — The  reverse  of  the  irradiations  of  love  in  woman  is 
constituted  by  her  failings,  which  we  have  already  partly  indi- 
cated. We  may  add  that  her  intelligence  is  usually  superficial, 
that  she  attributes  an  exaggerated  importance  to  trifles,  that  she 
often  does  not  understand  the  object  of  ideal  conceptions,  and 


138  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

remains  attached  by  routine  to  all  her  hobbies.  This  routine 
represents  in  feminine  psychology  the  excess  of  a  tenacious  will 
applied  only  to  the  repetition  of  what  has  been  taught.  In  the 
family,  woman  constitutes  the  conservative  element  because 
sentiment  in  her  much  more  than  in  man,  combined  with  perse- 
vering tenacity,  predominates  over  intelligence;  but  sentiments 
represent  everywhere  and  always  the  conservative  element  in 
the  human  mind. 

This  is  why  woman  is  the  strongest  supporter  of  dogmas, 
customs,  fashions,  prejudices  and  mysticism.  -  It  is  not  that 
she  herself  is  more  disposed  than  man  to  mystic  beliefs,  but 
these  when  once  dogmatized  dazzle  the  eyes  of  the  suffering  with 
visions  of  compensation  in  a  better  world.  In  this  way  a  num- 
ber of  unhappy  or  disappointed  women  are  affected  with  religious 
exaltation  and  thus  cling  to  the  hope  of  happiness  after  death 
which  they  believe  will  compensate  them  for  the  vicissitudes  of 
their  existence. 

The  other  reverses  of  the  feminine  character,  such  as  want  of 
logic,  obstinacy,  love  of  trinkets,  etc.,  result  from  the  funda- 
mental weakness  of  the  feminine  mind  which  we  have  just 
analyzed.  Moreover,  the  social  dependence  in  which  man  has 
placed  woman,  both  from  the  legal  and  educational  points  of 
view,  tend  to  increase  her  failings.  Many  people  fear  that 
women's  suffrage  would  hinder  progress,  for  the  reasons  we  have 
just  indicated,  but  they  forget  that  the  actual  suffrage  of  men  is 
to  a  great  extent  exercised  by  their  wives,  indirectly  and  uncon- 
sciously. This  fact  alone  shows  that  the  education,  and  legal 
emancipation  of  women  can  only  be  beneficial  to  progress,  espe- 
cially as  they  would  contribute  to  the  education  of  men,  too 
prone  to  degenerate  on  account  of  their  presumptuous  and 
tyrannical  autocracy. 

Woman  has  an  instinctive  admiration  for  men  of  high  intellect 
and  lofty  sentiments,  and  strives  to  imitate  those  who  provoke 
her  admiration,  and  carry  out  their  ideas.  Let  us  therefore  give 
women  their  proper  rights,  equal  to  ours,  at  the  same  time  giv- 
ing them  a  higher  education  and  the  same  free  instruction  as 
ourselves;  we  shall  then  see  them  abandon  the  obscure  paths 
of  mysticism,  to  devote  themselves  to  social  progress. 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  130 

Jealousy  in  Woman. — Other  irradiations  of  love  in  woman  are 
similar  to  those  of  man.     Jealousy  is  perhaps  not  much  less\ 
developed  in  woman  than  in  man.     It  is  less  brutal  and  violent 
but  more  instinctive  and  persevering;    it  manifests  itself  by 

'  quarrels,  needle  pricks,  chicanery,  petty  tyrannies  and  all  kinds 
of  tricks  which  poison  existence  as  much  as  man's  jealousy, 
and  are  quite  as  inefficient  against  infidelity.  In  the  highest 
degree  of  passion  the  jealous  man  uses  violence  or  resorts  to 
firearms,  while  the  woman  scratches,  poisons  or  stabs.  Among 
savages,  jealous  women  bite  off  their  rivals'  noses;  in  civilized 
countries  they  throw  sulphuric  acid  in  the  face.    The  object  is 

I  the  same  in  both  cases — to  disfigure. 

i  Amorous  illusions  produced  in  woman  by  the  sexual  appetite 
are  analogous  to  those  of  man,  but  are  modified  by  feminine 
attributes.     It  is  the  same  with  hypocrisy.     The  passive  role  of 

,  woman  in  sexual  life  obliges  her  only  to  betray  her  feelings  to 

il  the  object  of  her  desires  in  a  reserved  and  prudent  manner. 

"  She  cannot  make  advances  toward  man  without  contravening 
the  conventions  and  risking  her  reputation.  She  therefore  has 
to  be  more  skillful  in  the  art  of  dissimulation.  This  gives  us  no 
right  to  accuse  her  of  falseness,  for  this  art  is  natural,  instinctive 
and  imposed  by  custom.  Her  desire  for  love  and  maternity 
unconsciously  urges  her  to  make  herself  as  desirable  as  possible 

i  to  man  by  her  grace  and  allurements.  Her  stolen  glances  and 
sighs,  and  the  play  of  her  expression  serve  to  betray  her  ardor 
as  through  a  veil.     Behind  this  furtive  play,  especially  calcu- 

i  lated  to  excite  the  passions  of  man,  are  hidden,  in  the  natural 
and  good  woman,  a  world  of  delicate  feelings,  ideal  aspirations, 
energy  and  perseverance,  which  are  much  more  loyal  and  honest 
than  the  motives  revealed  by  the  more  brusque  and  daring  man- 
ner in  which  man  expresses  his  desires.  The  fine  phrases  by 
which  man's  love  is  expressed  generally  cover  sentiments  which 
are  much  less  pure  and  calculations  much  more  egoistic  than 
the  relatively  innocent  play  of  the  young  girl.  No  doubt  there 
are  false  women  whose  amorous  wiles  are  only  a  spider's  web, 
but  we  are  speaking  here  of  the  average,  and  not  of  exceptions. 
Coquetry. — The  sexual  braggardism  of  man  is  only  found  in 
some  prostitutes;  it  is  replaced  in  woman  by  coquetry  and  the 


140  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

desire  to  please.  Vain  women  profit  by  the  natural  grace  and 
beauty  of  their  sex  and  person,  not  only  to  attract  and  please 
men,  but  also  to  shine  among  their  fellows,  to  make  other 
women  pale  before  their  brilliance  and  their  elegance.  Coquettes 
take  infinite  pains  in  this  art.  All  their  efforts  and  all  their 
thoughts  are  directed  only  to  increase  their  charm  by  the  bril- 
liancy of  their  toilette,  the  refinement  of  their  attire,  the  ar- 
rangement of  their  hair,  their  perfumes,  paint  and  powder,  etc. 
It  is  here  that  the  narrowness  of  the  mind  of  woman  is  revealed 
in  all  its  meanness. 

To  describe  feminine  coquetry  would  oblige  me  to  descend 
to  banality.  If  we  go  to  a  ball  or  a  fashionable  soiree,  if  we 
observe  women  at  the  theater,  their  toilettes,  their  looks  and 
expressions,  or  if  we  read  a  novel  by  Guy  de  Maupassant,  "Fort 
Comme  la  Mort,"  or  "Notre  Coeur,"  for  example,  we  can  study 
all  the  degrees  and  all  the  degeneration  of  this  part  of  the  sexual 
psychology  of  women.  /rMany  of  them  have  such  bad  taste  that 
they  transform  themselves  into  caricatures;  dye  their  hair, 
paint  their  eyebrows  and  lips  to  give  themselves  the  appearance 
of  what  they  are  not,  or  to  make  themselves  appear  young  and 
beautiful.     / 

/These  artifices  of  civilized  countries  resemble  the  tattooing, 
nose-rings,  etc.,  with  which  savage  women  adorn  themselves. 
The  latter  are  represented  by  earrings,  bracelets  and  necklaces. 
All  these  customs  constitute  irradiations  of  the  sexual  appetite 
or  the  desu'e  to  please  men.  Male  sexual  inverts  (vide  Chap. 
VIII)  also  practice  them,  and  often  also  certain  dandies  with 
otherwise  normal  sexual  instincts. 

The  Pornographic  Spirit  in  Woman. — This  is  absolutely  con- 
trary to  the  normal  feminine  nature,  which  cannot  be  said  of 
eroticism.  Among  prostitutes,  as  we  have  seen,  the  porno- 
graphic spirit  is  only  the  echo  of  their  male  companions,  and  in 
spite  of  this,  we  still  find  a  vestige  of  modesty  even  in  them. 
No  doubt,  in  very  erotic  women,  sexual  excitations  may  lead  to 
indecent  acts  and  expressions,  but  these  are  rare  exceptions  and 
of  a  pathological  nature. 

Natural  feminine  eroticism,  not  artificially  perverted,  only 
shows  itself  openly  in  complete  intimacy,  and  even  here  modesty 


mRADIATIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  141 

and  the  aesthetic  sense  of  woman  correct  and  attenuate  it. 
Normally,  all  obscenity  and  cynicism  disgusts  women  and  only 
inspires  them  with  contempt  for  the  male  sex.  On  the  other 
I  hand,  they  are  easily  stimulated  to  eroticism  by  pictures  or 
aovels,  if  they  are  sufficiently  aesthetic,  or  even  moral.  This 
IS  a  great  danger  for  both  sexes,  especially  for  woman — eroti- 
l^ism  dissimulated  under  hypocritical  forms,  and  intended  to 
idealize  dishonest  intentions  (vide  de  Maupassant:  "Ce  Cochon 
ie  Morin"). 

Modesty  and  Prudery  in  Woman. — In  woman  the  sentiments 
[3f  modesty  and  prudery  have  a  peculiar  character,  which  results 
i'rom  her  natural  disgust  for  pornography  on  the  one  hand,  and 
ilso  from  her  attachment  to  fashion  and  prejudice.  Many 
svomen  have  a  perfect  terror  of  exposing  certain  parts  of  their 
Dody,  even  to  a  medical  man.  This  fact  depends  on  conven- 
:ion,  and  sometimes  on  the  absence  or  perversion  of  sexual 
eclings.  Brought  up  to  prudery,  sometimes  to  an  absurd 
extent  as  in  England,  these  women  lose  their  natural  feeling 
md  often  suffer  from  the  excitation,  indignation,  and  perpet- 
ial  fright,  which  result  from  it.  The  exaggerations  of  prudery, 
[moreover,  easily  lead  to  opposite  excesses,  or  else  degenerate 
,^nto  hypocrisy.  The  prude  is  ashamed  of  the  most  natural 
luhings,  and  undergoes  continual  torment. 
;  Prudery  can  be  created  or  cm'ed  by  education  in  childhood, 
'[t  may  be  created  by  isolation,  by  covering  all  parts  of  the 
Dody,  and  especially  by  making  children  regard  nudity  as 
1  shameful.  On  the  other  hand,  it  may  be  cured  by  mixed  bath- 
,ing,  by  accustoming  the  child  to  consider  the  human  body,  in 
iiU  its  parts  and  functions,  as  something  natural  of  which  one 
jaeed  not  be  ashamed,  lastly  by  giving  instruction  on  the  relations 
ji  the  sexes,  in  due  time  and  in  a  serious  manner,  instead  of 
;  replying  to  ingenuous  questions  by  pious  falsehoods,  by  equivo- 
|3ation,  or  by  an  air  of  mystery. 

,  The  chapter  on  love  is  infinite,  and  its  relations  to  the  sexual 
;  appetite  make  it  still  more  complex.  We  shall  confine  ourselves 
I  to  indicating  two  more  of  its  irradiations,  peculiar  to  each  sex, 
;but  having  for  each  a  physionomy  corresponding  to  its  own 
'mentality. 


142  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

FETICHISM    AND    ANTI-FETICHISM 

"We  understand  by  fetiches,  objects,  portions  of  objects,  or 
even  simply  the  qualities  of  objects  which,  from  their  associa-  ; 
tion  vdth.  a  certain  person  or  with  the  idea  of  this  person,  pro-  i 
duce  a  kind  of  charm  or  at  least  a  profound  impression,  which  ! 
in  no  way  corresponds  to  the  nature  of  the  object  itself." —  ; 
(Krafft-Ebing.)     The  fetich  thus  s)mibolizes  a  person  in  whom 
we  have  such  a  profound  interest  that  everything  connected 
with  her  disturbs  our  feelings.    It  is  we  ourselves  who  place  in 
the  fetich  the  charm  arising  from  the  person  whom  it  symboHzes 
for  us. 

In  many  religions  fetichism  plays  an  important  part,  so  much  j 
so  that  fetiches  such  as  amulets  or  relics  produce  ecstasy  in  the 
faithful. 

Binet,  Krafft-Ebing  and  others  give  the  name  erotic  fetichUm 
to  the  charm  which  certain  objects  or  certain  parts  of  the  body 
exercise  in  a  similar  wa}^  on  the  sexual  desires  or  even  on  love, 
in  the  sense  that  their  simple  representation  is  powerfully  asso- 
ciated with  the  erotic  image  of  a  person  of  the  other  sex,  or  -^-ith  a 
particular  variety  of  sexual  excitation.  In  both  man  and  woman  ^ 
certain  portions  of  the  clothes  or  the  body,  the  hair,  the  foot 
and  hand,  or  certain  odors  of  the  person  desired,  may  take  the 
character  of  fetiches.  It  is  the  same  with  certain  intellectual 
peculiarities  and  certain  expressions  of  the  features.  In  man, 
the  woman's  hair,  her  hands  or  feet,  her  handkerchief,  perfumes,  ^ 
etc.,  often  play  the  part  of  erotic  fetiches.  I 

We  may  caU  anti-fetiches  certain  objects  or  certain  qualities 
which,  on  the  contraiy,  destroy  eroticism.  Certain  odors,  the 
tone  of  a  voice,  an  ugly  nose,  a  garment  in  bad  taste,  an  awk- 
ward manner,  often  suffice  to  destroy  eroticism  by  causing  dis- ' 
gust  for  a  person,  and  their  simple  representation  is  enough  to 
make  her  unbearable.  SjTnbolizing  disgust,  the  anti-fetich 
paralyzes  the  sexual  appetite  and  love. 

In  normal  love,  it  is  especially  by  association  of  ideas  in  calling 
to  mind  the  image  of  the  person  loved  that  the  fetich  plays  the 
part  of  an  exciting  agent.  It  often,  however,  becomes  itself  the 
more  special  object  of  the  sexual  appetite,  while  the  anti-fetich 


IRRADIATIONS  OF  THE   SEXUAL  APPETITE  143 

produces  the  opposite  effect.  But,  in  degenerates  (vide  Chap. 
iVIII)  it  is  sometimes  exclusively  to  the  fetich  itself  that  an 
;  irresistible  sexual  appetite  is  addressed,  the  irradiation  of  which 
'becomes  a  ridiculous  caricature  of  love. 

We  thus  see  that  normal  love  is  based  on  an  extremely  com- 
!  plex  synthesis,  on  a  symphony  of  harmonious  sensations,  senti- 
I  ments  and  conceptions,  combined  in  all  kinds  of  tones  and  shades. 

The  pathological  aberrations  of  which  we  shall  speak,  demon- 
'strate  this  by  forcing  one  tone  or  another  to  the  more  or  less 
'  marked  exclusion  of  the  rest. 

'■  PSYCHOLOGICAL   RELATIONS  OF    LOVE   TO    RELIGION 

Love  and  eroticism  play  a  great  part  in  religion,  and  many 
derivatives  of  religious  sentiment  are  intimately  associated  with 
[the  sexual  appetite.    As  Krafft-Ebing  says,  religious  ecstasy  is 
:  closely  related  to  amorous  ecstasy,  and  very  often  appears  in  the 
guise  of  consolation  and  compensation  for  an  unhappy  or  dis- 
appointed love,  or  even  in  the  absence  of  sexual  love.     In  the 
'  insane,  religion  and  eroticism  are  combined  in  a  very  character- 
istic manner.  Among  a  number  of  peoples  certain  cruel  religious 
customs  are  the  result  of  transformed  erotic  conceptions. 

As  in  religion,  there  is  something  mystical  in  love;  the  ineffa- 
ble dream  of  eternal  ecstasy.  This  is  why  the  two  kinds  of 
mystic  and  erotic  exaltation  become  blended  in  religions. 

Krafft-Ebing  attributes  the  cruelty  found  in  many  religions 
to  sadism  (sexual  lust  excited  by  the  sufferings  of  others) .  (Vide 
Chap.  VIII.) 

"The  relationship  so  often  established  between  religion,  lust 
and  cruelty  can  be  reduced  almost  to  the  following  formula: 
at  the  acme  of  their  development,  the  religious  and  sexual  pas- 
sions show  a  concordance  in  quality  and  in  quantity  of  excita- 
tion, and  may  consequently  replace  each  other,  under  certain 
circumstances.  Under  special  pathological  influences,  both  may 
be  transformed  into  cruelty." — (Krafft-Ebing.) 
We  shall  return  to  this  subject  in  Chapters  VIII  and  XII. 


CHAPTER   VI 

ETHNOLOGY    AND    HISTORY    OF    SEXUAL    LIFE    IN    MAN    AND    IN"| 

MARRIAGE  ' 

In  the  study  of  the  sexual  question  it  is  absolutely  necessary  to^ 
guard  against  subjectiveness  and  all  preconceived  theory,  and; 
to  avoid  sentimentalism  as  well  as  eroticism.  These  two  dan- 
gers play  a  considerable  part  in  the  study  of  human  sexual  life. 
Presented  in  a  conscientious  and  scientific  way  the  history  of 
marriage  furnishes  us  the  most  trustworthy  material  for  the 
study  of  the  sexual  relations  of  man  in  social  life.  It  is  from 
this  material  that  we  can  learn  the  relative  importance  of  the  I 
different  psychological  and  psycho-pathological  factors  in  social 
evolution.  But,  to  furnish  valid  material,  history  must  not  only 
be  based  on  trustworthy  and  veracious  sources;  it  must  also 
give  a  comparative  study  of  the  sexual  relations  which  exist  in 
most,  if  not  all,  of  the  peoples  actually  existing.  The  present 
savage  tribes  no  doubt  resemble  more  closely  the  primitive 
peoples  than  our  hybrid  agglomeration  of  the  civilized  world. 
Moreover,  the  modern  study  of  ethnology  gives  us  more  certain 
information  than  the  uncertain,  incomplete  and  often  fabulous 
statements  of  ancient  documents.  I  am  speaking  here  of  primi- 
tive history,  and  not  of  the  Greek  and  Roman  civilizations. 
Unfortunately  the  correctness  of  ethnological  observations, 
and  especially  their  interpretation,  still  leave  much  to  be  desired. 
Edward  Westermark,  professor  at  Helsingfors,  in  his  "  History 
of  Human  Marriage,"  has  given  us  a  monumental  work,  which  is 
remarkable,  not  only  for  the  richness  and  exactness  of  its  mate- 
rial, but  also  for  the  clearness  and  good  sense  of  its  criticism.  I 
shall  give  a  resume  of  Westermark's  results,  as  the  subject  is 
beyond  the  domain  of  my  special  studies.  The  author  has  col- 
lected a  great  number  of  observations  in  order  to  avoid  erroneous 
conclusions.    He  warns  the  reader  against  a  hasty  generalization, 

144 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY   OF    SEXUAL   LIFE  145 

which  attributes  without  proof  certain  customs  of  living  savage 
tribes  to  our  primitive  ancestors. 

ORIGIN   OF   MARRIAGE 

In  the  previous  chapter  we  have  considered  the  phylogeny  of 
love  in  general.  We  have  seen  that  some  of  the  low^er  animals, 
such  as  the  ants  and  bees,  give  evidence  of  an  instinctive  social 
altruism  much  gi'eater  than  that  of  man,  while  other  animals, 
such  as  birds,  are  superior  to  us  as  regards  monogamous  con- 
jugal fidelity.  But  it  is  a  question  here  of  analogies  due  to 
phenomena  of  convergence,  and  these  animals  are  of  interest  to 
us  only  as  remote  objects  of  comparison. 

As  regards  marriage  in  primitive  man,  we  can  only  compare 
ourselves  with  the  living  animals  most  closely  allied  to  us,  viz. 
the  anthropoid  apes. 

In  most  mammals,  marriage  (if  we  may  give  this  name  to 
1  their  sexual  union)  is  only  of  very  short  duration,  depending 
on  the  time  necessary  for  the  procreation  of  a  single  brood  of 
young.    After  copulation  the  male  generally  pays  little  atten- 
tion to  the  female,  beyond  protecting  her  for  a  certain  time. 
In  the  anthi'opoid  apes  (orang-utan,  chimpanzee,  goriUa  and 
gibbon)  however,  we  find  monogamous  marriage  and  the  insti- 
tution of  family  life.    The  male  protects  the  female  and  the 
!  young,  and  the  latter  are  often  of  different  ages,  showing  the 
'  existence   of   conjugal   fidelity   extending   beyond   one   birth. 
'  While  the  female  and  the  young  remain  in  their  nest,  perched 
» on  a  tree,  the  male  takes  his  place  at  the  foot  of  the  tree  and 
,  watches  over  the  safety  of  the  family. 

I     According  to  Westermark  this  was  probably  the  same  in 

'  primitive  man.     Formed  by  the  father,  the  mother  and  the 

children,  the  family  was  in  primitive  man  a  general  institution, 

1  based  on  monogamy,  polygamy  or  polyandry.    The  wife  looked 

'  after  the  children,  and  the  husband  protected  the  family.     No 

doubt,  the  husband  was  not  particularly  anxious  for  the  welfare 

of  his  wife  and  children,  but  concerned  himself  chiefly  in  the 

,  satisfaction  of  his  sexual  appetite  and  his  pride.    He  was  useful, 

however,  in  building  the  nest,  or  hut,  in  procuring  the  necessary 

\  food,  and  in  defending  his  family. 


146  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Most  legends  relate  that  primitive  man  lived  in  promiscuity 
with  women,  without  marriage,  and  that  marriage  was  insti- 
tuted by  some  god  or  by  some  law.  But  this  opinion,  which  is 
still  held  by  most  modern  authors,  is  quite  erroneous,  as  Wester- 
mark  has  demonstrated  in  a  masterly  manner,  by  the  aid  of 
documents  which  are  absolutely  conclusive. 

The  duty  of  the  husband  to  provide  food  for  the  family  is  a 
general  law  among  savage  peoples.  A  confirmation  of  this  law 
is  found  in  the  fact  that  most  often  m  polygamous  races  the  man 
has  only  the  right  to  as  many  wives  as  he  can  support.  Every 
man  must  give  proof  that  he  is  capable  of  feeding  his  family. 
Even  after  divorce  the  husband's  duties  continue,  and  may 
even  be  transmitted  to  his  heirs.  For  example,  among  certain 
peoples,  his  brother  is  obliged  to  marry  his  widow.  The  hus- 
band's duties  appear  to  be  inherited  from  the  higher  apes, 
among  whom  conjugal  fidelity  lasts  longer  than  the  sexual 
appetite.  This  fidelity  has  therefore  deep  phylogenetic  roots 
in  our  nature,  and  we  shall  see  later  on  that  we  cannot  neglect  it 
without  compromising  our  social  state  (Chap.  XIII). 

The  follo^nng  is  the  definition  of  marriage  as  given  by  Wester- 
mark:  Marriage  is  a  sexual  union  of  variable  duration  between 
men  and  women,  a  union  which  is  continued  after  copulation,  at 
least  till  the  birth  of  the  child. 

According  to  this  definition,  there  may  be  monogamous, 
polygamous  and  polyandrous  marriages,  as  well  as  marriage  in 
groups  and  limited  marriage.  It  is  evident  that  permanent 
monogamous  unions,  such  as  occur  in  birds  and  the  higher  apes, 
are,  according  to  this  definition,  true  marriages,  of  better  quality 
even  than  those  of  many  men. 

_,/^mong  animals  which  have  a  definite  rutting  period,  mar- 
riage cannot  depend  solely  on  the  sexual  appetite,  or  egoistic 
eroticism,  without  ceasing  with  the  rut.  It  follows  from  this 
that  natural  selection  and  the  mneme  (engraphia)  have  derived 
from  the  sexual  appetite  certain  social  or  altruistic  instincts, 
with  the  object  of  preser\ang  the  species  by  protection  of  the 
young.  Although  not  the  only  means  of  preservdng  the  species, 
such  instincts  are  certainly  important. 

The  family  is  thus  the  root  of  marriage.    This  explains  the 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  147 

custom,  among  certain  races,  of  marriage  only  becoming  valid 
after  the  birth  of  a  child.  In  many  forms  of  marriage  by  pur- 
chase, the  wife  is  even  bound  to  return  to  her  husband  the  sum 
paid  for  her  if  she  remains  sterile,  and  among  many  savages  the 
marriage  is  only  celebrated  after  the  birth  of  the  first  child.  In 
Borneo,  relations  between  the  sexes  are  free  till  pregnancy  oc- 
curs, and  it  is  this  which  determines  the  duties  of  marriage. 
In  this  respect,  these  savages  are  more  just  and  wiser  than  us. 
In  man,  a  special  reason  in  favor  of  marriage  is  the  fact  that 

i  he  has  no  rutting  period.  In  animals  the  rutting  period  is  gen- 
erally regulated  so  that  the  young  are  born  exactly  at  the  time 
of  year  when  they  will  find  food  most  abundant.     For  example, 

I  the  muscardin  copulates  in  July  and  brings  forth  young  in 

i  August,  at  the  time  when  nuts  are  ripe,  while  elephants,  whales 
and  certain  monkeys,  who  find  food  at  all  seasons,  do  not  copu- 
late at  any  definite  period. 
The  anthropoid  apes,  however,  have  a  rutting  period,  and 

.something   analogous   is   found   among   certain   human   races 

'  (Calif ornians,  Hindus  and  certain  Australians)  in  the  spring, 
when  sexual  orgies  are  indulged  in.  In  man  there  is  no  particu- 
lar correlation  between  eroticism  and  the  possibility  of  easily 
obtaining  food  for  the  children  at  the  time  of  birth.  Neverthe- 
less, a  recrudescence  of  the  sexual  appetite  is  generally  observed 

I  in  the  spring  and  beginning  of  summer,  with  a  corresponding 
increase  in  the  number  of  conceptions.  This  is  probably  ex- 
plained by  the  fact  that  infants  born  in  the  autumn  or  winter 
are    more    robust.     Moreover,    natural    selection    has    almost 

I  entirely  ceased  in  civilized  peoples,  owing  to  the  artificial  means 
used  to  rear  children,  and  to  the  diminution  which  results  from. 

1  their  mortality. 

We  thus  see  that  the  institution  of  marriage  in  man  does  not 
;  depend  on  the  excitation  of  the  sexual  appetite,  for  this  is,  on 
the  whole,  continuous. 

I  ANTIQUITY   OF   MATRIMONIAL   INSTITUTIONS 

'     The  fact  that  the  anthropoid  apes  produce  feeble  and  depend- 

I  ent  young,  whose  infancy  is  long,  has  probably  been  the  origin 

of  marriage.     Kautsky  says  that  in  primitive  man  the  child 


148  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

belongs  to  the  clan;  but  this  is  an  error.  Originally,  human 
societies  were  composed  of  families,  or  rather  associations 
of  families.  In  primitive  man,  these  families  play  the  funda- 
mental role  and  constitute  the  nucleus  of  society.  In  the  anthro- 
poid ape  we  already  find  the  family,  but  not  the  clan.  This 
must  also  have  been  the  case  with  the  pithecanthropoids  and 
other  extinct  transitory  forms.  In  fact,  the  lowest  savages  still 
live  as  isolated  families  like  the  carnivorous  mammals,  rather 
than  in  clans  or  tribes.  This  is  the  case,  for  example,  with  the 
Weddas  of  Ceylon,  the  indigenes  of  Terra  del-Fuego,  the  abo- 
riginal Australians,  the  Esquimaux  and  certain  Indians  of 
Brazil.     In  this  way  they  have  better  conditions  for  subsistence. 

In  primitive  times  therefore,  man  lived  in  families,  on  the 
produce  of  the  chase.  Later  on,  the  spirit  of  discovery,  the  more 
abundant  food  obtained  by  traps  and  by  the  cultivation  of 
plants  allowed  men  to  live  in  tribes.  Thus,  intellectual  devel- 
opment was  the  first  cause  of  social  life  in  man,  and  Lubbock  is 
certainly  wrong  in  considering  that  the  establishment  of  clans 
dates  further  back  than  the  first  beginning  of  civilization. 
Westermark's  conclusions  are  as  follows: 

(1).  At  no  period  of  human  existence  has  family  life  been  re- 
placed by  clan  life: 

(2).  Conjugal  life  is  a  heritage  from  ancestors  who  lived  in  a 
similar  way  to  the  anthropoid  apes  of  the  present  day: 

(3).  Although  less  intimately  and  less  constantly  bound  to  the 
children  than  to  the  mother,  the  father  has  always  been  in  man  the 
protector  of  the  family. 

CRITICISM   OF   THE    DOCTRINE   OF   PROMISCUITY 

Most  sociologists  believe  with  Lubbock,  Bachofen,  MacLen- 
nan,  Bastian,  Giraud-Teulon,  Wilkens,  and  others  that  primitive 
man  lived  in  sexual  promiscuity.  If  we  agree  with  Westermark 
that  the  term  marriage  includes  polygamy,  polyandry  and 
limited  marriage,  the  opinion  of  these  authors  is  wrong.  What 
they  have  considered  as  promiscuity  can  always  be  included  in 
one  of  these  forms  of  marriage,  even  among  the  indigenes  of 
Hayti,  whose  life  is  the  most  debauched.  The  author  who  has 
most  confused  the  question  is  Fison,  with  his  dogmatic  theories' 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF   SEXUAL  LIFE  149 

concerning  the  Australians.  Obliged  to  admit  that  promis- 
cuity does  not  exist  among  these  people,  he  still  maintains  that 
it  existed  formerly.  Curr,  who  was  better  acquainted  than 
Fison  with  the  Australians,  has  proved  that  they  are  normally 
monogamous. 

Similar  statements  of  Bastian,  Wilkens  and  others  concerning 
the  Kustchins,  the  natives  of  Terra  del  Fuego,  are  also  incorrect. 
In  none  of  the  African  tribes  is  there  communion  of  women,  the 
men,  on  the  other  hand,  are  extremely  jealous.  Promiscuity  is 
not  observed  among  savage  and  primitive  races,  but  among 
people  already  civilized,  such  as  the  Buddhist  Butias,  in  whom 
man  knows  neither  honor  nor  jealousy.  The  savage  Weddas 
are  monogamous,  and  one  of  their  proverbs  says:  "Death  alone 
can  separate  woman  from  man." 

There  is  in  reality  only  one  true  form  of  promiscuity — the 
prostitution  of  modern  civilized  races,  who  have  introduced  it 
among  savages,  subjecting  them  to  gratify  their  own  lust. 
Among  many  savage  races  there  exists,  on  the  contrary,  a  very 
severe  monogamy,  and  they  punish  with  death  every  seducer 
and  illegitimate  child,  as  well  as  the  mother.  Among  others, 
however,  considerable  sexual  freedom  is  allowed  before  or  after 
marriage.  It  is  impossible  to  lay  down  definite  rules,  but  one 
thing  may  be  regarded  as  universal,  viz.,  that  the  sexual  deprav- 
ity of  savage  races  most  often  arises  from  the  influence  of  civil- 
ized people  who  immigrate  among  them  and  systematically  intro- 
duce immorality  and  debauchery.  It  is  the  white  colonists  who 
appropriate  the  women  of  savage  races  and  train  them  in  the 
worst  forms  of  prostitution.  It  is  the  white  colonists  who  intro- 
duce alcoholic  drink  which  disorganizes  the  most  virtuous  and 
loyal  habits,  and  ends  with  ruin. 

Certain  Arab  clans  exploit  European  habits  of  prostitution 
by  sending  their  young  girls  to  brothels  for  purposes  of  gain. 
When  they  have  accumulated  a  sufficient  fortune  they  return 
home  and  marry  one  of  their  fellow  countrymen.  Similar  cus- 
toms are  observed  among  other  races. 

In  this  connection  Westermark  points  out  that  the  more 
advanced  is  civilization,  the  greater  is  the  number  of  illegiti- 
mate births,   and   the  more   widespread   is   prostitution.     In 


150  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Europe,  the  proportion  of  natural  children  and  of  prostitutes  is 
nearly  double  in  the  towns  what  it  is  in  the  country.  This 
shows  the  absurdity  of  regarding  promiscuity  as  a  primitive 
state;  on  the  contrary,  it  is  a  rotten  fruit  of  civilization,  and 
especially  of  semi-civilization.  Primitive  customs  are  generally 
chaste,  and  it  is  civilization  which  corrupts  them.  In  Europe, 
prostitution  is  increasing,  while  marriage  is  becoming  less 
frequent;  it  is  the  latter  which  constitutes  the  primitive  and 
normal  state. 

Westermark  admits,  as  we  have  mentioned  above,  that  sexual 
liberty  before  or  after  marriage  exists  among  certain  tribes;  but 
in  spite  of  this  the  custom  of  careful  choice  always  exists  among 
these  people,  and  this  renders  their  unions  comparatively  last- 
ing. He  cites  as  an  example  the  Tounghtas  of  India,  who 
practice  sexual  cormection  before  marriage,  but  among  whom 
these  connections  nearly  always  lead  to  marriage;  this  race 
considers  prostitution  as  dishonorable. 

We  must,  however,  make  one  objection  to  Westermark. 
Promiscuity  in  itself  is  not  necessarily  prostitution,  for  the  lat- 
ter signifies  especially  the  sale  of  the  body,  which  is  not  the  case 
in  promiscuity.  The  fundamental  fact  which  prevents  us  ad- 
mitting the  existence  of  primitive  promiscuity  among  savage 
races  is  the  following:  As  soon  as  the  two  sexes  are  free,  the 
monogamous  instinct  of  the  woman  and  jealousy  of  both  sexes 
combine  to  reestablish  marriage.  True  promiscuity  can  only 
exist  by  means  of  a  sort  of  legal  obligation,  such  as  exists  in  the 
colony  of  Oneidas  in  New  York.  In  this  colony  the  members 
formally  agree  to  mutual  and  free  sexual  intercourse.  We  must 
not  forget  that  prostitution  is  only  kept  up  in  women  by  the 
thirst  for  lucre,  and  ceases  immediately  this  element  disappears. 

Before  the  Reformation  there  existed  in  Scotland  a  singular 
custom  called  "hand-fasting,"  by  which  young  men  had  the 
right  to  choose  a  companion  for  a  year,  at  the  end  of  which 
time  they  could  either  separate  or  become  married  according  to 
their  inclination. 

On  the  other  hand,  Lubbock  mentions  certain  customs  in 
Greece  and  India,  the  worship  of  phallus,  for  example,  which 
obliged  young  girls  to  give  themselves  to  all  men.     But  these 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  151 

customs  were  not  among  primitive  races  but  resulted  from  the 
eroticism  of  highly  civilized  nations.  Thus,  Lubbock's  argu- 
ment concerning  the  existence  of  primitive  promiscuity  falls  to 
the  ground. 

Certain  savage  nations  offer  their  daughters  or  their  servants, 
rarely  their  wives,  to  their  guests.  A  jus  primce  nodi  (right 
to  the  first  night)  has  also  existed  and  will  sometimes  exist  in 
some  tribes,  but  this  right  is  reserved  for  the  chiefs,  kings  or 
priests,  and  allows  them  to  have  sexual  intercourse  before  the 
husband  with  every  newly  married  woman  during  the  first 
night  of  the  nuptials.  This  is  a  barbarous  custom  based  on  the 
right  of  the  stronger,  and  analogous  to  the  privileges  claimed 
by  the  European  nobles  from  their  serfs  or  peasants.  But 
such  abuses  do  not  constitute  promiscuity,  as  Lubbock  main 
tains. 

In  many  countries  the  courtesans  and  concubines  were  held 
in  high  esteem,  and  are  so  even  at  the  present  day,  more  than  is 
supposed;  but  this  again  is  not  a  question  of  promiscuity. 

Morgan  has  deduced  his  theories  of  promiscuity  from  terms 
employed  in  certain  savage  dialects  to  designate  relationship. 
These  conclusions  are  false  and  Morgan,  like  others,  has  been 
led  into  error  by  the  obscurity  of  the  language  of  these  people. 
The  simple  fact  that  paternal  parentage  is  recognised  among 
them  proves  the  absurdity  of  Morgan's  reasoning,  for  promis- 
cuity cannot  recognize  paternal  parentage. 

In  1860  Bachofen  drew  attention  to  the  ancient  custom  of 
naming  the  children  after  the  maternal  side,  and  it  is  now  certain 
that  this  custom  has  existed  among  many  primitive  races,  while 
in  others  children  were  named  after  the  paternal  side.  The 
term  matriarchy  is  given  to  denomination  after  the  maternal 
side.  MacLennan  maintains  the  existence  of  matriarchy  in 
promiscuity,  but  this  is  inadmissible.  Maternity  is  self-evident, 
while  paternity  can  only  be  proved  indirectly  by  the  aid  of 
reasoning.  No  doubt  all  nations  appear  to  have  recognized 
the  real  part  which  the  father  takes  in  every  conception,  and 
from  this  results  the  singular  custom  among  certain  tribes,  in 
which  the  husband  retires  to  his  couch  and  fasts  during  the 
accouchement  of  his  wife. 


■/ 


152  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Westermark  explains  matriarchy  in  a  simpler  and  more  nat- 
ural way,  by  the  intimate  relations  of  the  child  to  the  mother. 
Children,  especially  when  they  are  still  young,  follow  the 
mother  when  she  separates  from  the  father.  Matriarchy  is 
quite  natural  in  marriages  of  short  duration,  with  change  of 
wives,  and  in  polygamy;  while,  in  monogamous  nations,  it  is 
'patriarchy,  or  denomination  after  the  paternal  line,  which 
dominates. 

Among  nations  where  the  denomination  of  uncles  exists,  and 
where  the  married  woman  lives  with  her  family  till  she  has  a 
child,  matriarchy  results  quite  naturally  from  this  fact.  In 
Japanese  families  who  have  only  daughters,  the  husband  of  the 
eldest  takes  his  wife's  family  name.  Among  savages  in  general, 
the  name  has  a  great  importance.  When  rank  and  property  are 
only  inherited  in  the  female  line,  the  children  are  always  named 
after  this  line.  We  are  thus  concerned  here  with  very  complex 
questions  which  have  nothing  to  do  with  promiscuity. 

Maine  has  proved  that  prostitution  and  promiscuity  lead  to 
sterility  and  decadence.  Among  the  few  tribes  in  which  poly- 
andry is  the  rule,  especially  in  Thibet,  several  brothers  generally 
have  the  same  wife.  But  they  usually  alternate,  and  never 
dwell  together.  In  the  fifteenth  century,  in  the  Canary  Islands, 
every  woman  had  three  husbands,  each  of  whom  lived  with  her 
for  a  month,  and  the  one  who  was  to  possess  her  during  the 
following  month  had  to  work  both  for  her  and  for  the  other 
two  husbands.  Polyandry  has  always  originated  in  scarcity  of 
women. 

The  jealousy  of  men,  which  has  never  ceased  to  exist,  gives 
the  clearest  proof  of  the  impossibility  of  promiscuity.  Poly- 
andry is  only  possible  among  a  few  feeble  and  degenerate  races 
who  ignore  jealousy.  These  tribes  are  diminishing  and  tend  to 
disappear.  The  jealousy  of  savages  is  generally  so  terrible  that 
among  them  a  woman  who  commits  adultery  is  usually  put  to 
death  along  with  her  seducer.  Sometimes  they  are  content  ■^dth 
cutting  off  her  nose  or  inflicting  other  chastisement.  It  is  from 
jealousy  that  results  the  obligation  of  chastity  in  the  woman. 

Religious  ideas  on  the  future  of  man  after  death  are  often 
combined  with  these  ideas;  this  is  why  chastity,  death,  or  even 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  153 

all  kinds  of  torture  are,  in  certain  countries,  imposed  on  the 
woman  after  death  of  the  husband. 

It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  among  most  savages  the  wife  is 
regarded  as  the  property  of  her  husband.  If  the  latter  lends 
his  wife  to  a  guest,  he  offers  her  as  part  of  a  feast.  This  is  not, 
however,  promiscuity,  and  we  must  understand  that  these  peo- 
ple have  quite  different  sentiments  to  ours.  In  clans  or  tribes 
the  most  powerful  men  have  always  had  the  youngest  and  most 
beautiful  wives. 

To  sum  up,  there  is  not  the  shadow  of  proof  in  support  of  the 
doctrine  of  primitive  promiscuity,  a  doctrine  which  is  based  on 
purely  hypothetical  grounds. 

MARRIAGE    AND    CELIBACY 

Among  animals  the  voluntary  celibate  exists  only  among  the 
females  of  certain  birds  which  have  become  widowed,  and  even 
then  the  case  is  rare.  In  savage  man,  nearly  every  individual 
marries,  and  the  women  look  upon  celibacy  or  widowhood 
almost  in  the  same  way  as  death.  The  savage  despises  celibates  - 
as  thieves  or  sorcerers.  In  his  opinion  a  man  without  a  wife  is 
not  a  man.  He  therefore  marries  at  a  much  earlier  age  than 
civilized  man,  sometimes  even  (in  Greenland)  before  fecunda- 
tion is  possible.  Among  certain  Indians  men  sometimes  marry 
at  the  age  of  nine  or  ten  years,  generally  between  fourteen  and 
eighteen;  the  girls  between  nine  and  twelve..j)i^n  some  com- 
paratively civilized  nations  the  celibate  is  so  much  despised  that 
they  go  as  far  as  marrying  the  spirits  of  departed  children! 
Among  the  Greeks,  celibates  were  punished,  and  among  the 
Romans  they  were  taxed  heavily.  Celibacy  becomes  more  rare 
the  further  we  go  back  in  the  history  of  the  human  race;  celi- 
bacy increases  with  the  corruption  of  morals.  It  is  civilization^ 
which  does  most  harm  to  marriage,  especially  in  the  large  towns,  • 
and  the  age  at  which  people  marry  becomes  more  and  more  ad- 
vanced, although  in  Europe  there  are  more  women  than  men. 
Want  of  money  and  insufficient  salaries  diminish  more  and  more 
the  number  of  marriages  in  the  large  centers,  while  among  sav- 
ages, and  also  among  our  peasants,  the  women  and  children  are 
one  of  the  principal  sources  of  wealth,  because  they  work  and 


154  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

have  few  needs.  Among  the  middle  classes,  on  the  contrary, 
the  wife  is  a  source  of  expense,  as  well  as  the  education  of  the 
children.  For  men,  the  length  of  intellectual  and  professional 
education  (and  military  service  in  many  countries)  cause  mar- 
riage to  be  postponed  and  celibacy  is  obligatory  at  the  time 
when  the  sexual  appetite  is  most  powerful.  Thus,  the  more 
civilization  advances,  the  longer  is  marriage  postponed.  The 
refinement  and  the  multiplicity  of  pleasures  also  diminish  the 
attractions  of  marriage. 

Lastly,  intellectual  culture  exalts  the  desiref  for  the  ideal,  so 
that  men  and  women  well  suited  to  each  other  meet  less  fre- 
quently, as  their  mutual  adaptation  becomes  more  complicated. 

Nevertheless,  I  must  repeat  here  what  I  have  already  said 
concerning  the  way  in  which  novelists  present  us  with  the  ex- 
treme passions  of  ill-balanced  people  and  describe  them  as  types, 
the  normal  man  being  too  prosaic  to  attract  then-  readers. 
Rotten  as  it  is  with  neurotic  degenerates,  our  modern  society  is 
certainly  not  wanting  in  pathological  models  for  the  novelists, 
but  it  is  nevertheless  false  to  always  put  these  into  prominence. 
The  cultured  man  of  well-balanced  mind,  adapts  himself  to 
marriage  on  the  whole  very  well,  and  is  not  always  so  difficult  to 
please.  However,  it  must  be  recognized  that  marriage  becomes 
less  easy  if  a  too  high  ideal  is  expected  from  it.  With  character- 
istic prudence,  Westermark  does  not  answer  the  question  whether 
marriage  will  progressively  diminish  in  the  future. 

The  Cult  of  Virgins.  Sanctity  of  the  Celibate. — Among  many 
savages  the  singular  idea  obtains  that  there  is  something  impure 
in  sexual  intercourse.  The  celibacy  ordained  by  several  reli- 
gions originates  from  ideas  of  this  kind. 

Many  nations  have  worshiped  virgins,  for  instance  the  vestal 
virgins  of  the  Romans.  The  mother  of  Buddha  was  declared 
to  be  holy  and  pure,  Buddha  having  been  conceived  super- 
naturally,  according  to  the  legend.  A  Buddhist  monk  is  for- 
bidden to  have  sexual  intercourse,  even  with  animals!  Celibacy 
among  certain  priests  exists  also  in  China. 

Among  the  Hebrews,  the  idea  of  the  impurity  of  marriage 
had  got  a  footing,  and  this  no  doubt  powerfully  influenced 
Christianity.    St.  Paul  thus  places  celibacy  higher  than  mar- 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  155 

riage,  and  this  is  how  the  idea  became  established  among  the 
fathers  of  the  Church  that  the  repression  of  all  sensuality  was  a 
cardinal  virtue,  and  that  God  had  contemplated  in  paradise  an 
asexual  reproduction  of  the  human  species,  which  was  annulled 
by  the  fall  of  Adam.  Men  who  remained  pure  were  to  be  im- 
mortal. "The  earth  is  filled  with  marriage  and  the  heavens 
with  virginity,"  says  Jeremiah.  Such  are  the  ideas  which  have 
given  rise  to  the  obligation  of  celibacy  for  priests. 

Westermark  thinks  that  the  idea  of  impurity  attached  to 
sexual  intercourse  is  possibly  derived  from  the  instinctive  re- 
pugnance experienced  by  members  of  the  same  family  to  have 
sexual  intercourse  between  themselves.  Banished  from  the 
family  circle  this  intercourse  was  tainted  with  a  stigma  which 
offended  modesty,  and  by  the  association  of  ideas  so  common  in 
man,  this  stigma  was  extended  to  legal  marriage  outside  the 
family.  Moreover,  religious  celibacy  is  complicated  by  ascetic 
conceptions,  and  the  idea  of  the  impurity  of  sexual  intercourse 
is  by  no  means  general. 

For  my  part,  I  think  rather  that  the  jealousy  natural  to  both 
sexes  has  gradually  compelled  them  to  limit  their  sexual  inter- 
course to  intimacy  and  to  conceal  it.  But  man  is  ashamed  of 
everything  which  he  conceals,  and  we  shall  soon  see  that  the 
sentiment  of  modesty  concerns  all  parts  of  the  body  which  are 
concealed.  This  simple  fact  is  sufficient  to  give  rise  to  the  idea 
that  coitus  is  impure,  and  I  do  not  think  it  necessary  to  seek 
any  further  explanation. 

ADVANCES    MADE    BY    ONE    SEX    TO    THE    OTHER — DEMANDS    IN 

MARRIAGE 

A  natural  law  compels  the  male  germinal  cell  to  move  toward 
the  egg;  exceptions  to  this  law  are  rare,  the  female  germinal 
cells  being  larger  and  produced  in  less  number.  It  follows 
that  in  copulation,  or  the  union  of  individual  sexual  entities, 
man  included,  it  is  the  male  which  is  the  active  party  and  makes 
the  advances.  Among  certain  tribes  (Paraguayans,  Garos, 
Moquis),  however,  it  is  the  female  who  makes  the  advances. 
Everyone  knows  the  combats  for  the  female  which  takes  place 
between  the  male  of  animals,  cocks   and   stags  .for  example. 


156  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Among  certain  Indians  similar  struggles  are  also  observed,  after 
which  the  vanquished  has  to  surrender  his  wife  to  the  con- 
queror. The  same  custom  obtained  among  the  ancient  Greeks, 
as  we  see  in  the  suitors  for  Penelope.  In  Ireland  similar  cus- 
toms prevailed  up  to  the  last  few  centuries. 

On  the  other  hand,  we  often  see  among  savages  and  among 
birds  the  favors  of  the  female  obtained  by  assiduous  courtship 
rather  than  by  combat.  In  some  savage  tribes  struggles  take 
place  between  the  females  for  possession  of  the  male.  However, 
it  is  usually  coquetry  in  all  its  degrees  which  furnishes  woman 
with  the  basis  for  her  advances.  In  many  nations,  if  not  in 
most,  women  have  the  right  to  refuse  a  demand  for  marriage. 

METHODS   OF   ATTRACTION 

Adornment  in  the  Two  Sexes. — Vanity  is  older  than  man,  for 
it  is  found  in  many  animals.  The  lowest  and  most  savage  peo- 
ples adorn  themselves.  Tattooing,  staining  the  skin,  rings  on 
the  arms  and  feet,  in  the  lips,  nose  and  ears  serve  to  attract  one 
sex  toward  the  other.  A  Santal  woman  may  cany  as  much 
as  fifteen  kilogrammes  of  ornaments  on  her  body.  Vanity  leads 
to  incredible  eccentricities;  certain  tribes,  for  example,  pull  out 
their  teeth  to  increase  their  attractions.  Absurdities  of  this 
kind  are  often  associated  with  religious  ideas,  although  the  latter 
generally  play  a  secondary  part.  The  true  origin  of  these  cus- 
toms lies  in  vanity,  combined  with  the  sexual  desire  to  captivate. 
In  hot  climates,  at  any  rate,  the  savages  only  commenced  to 
cover  theh  bodies  with  clothes  with  the  object  of  pleasing  by 
personal  adorrmient.  The  religious  observances  attached  to 
the  custom  of  adornment  are  not  primitive.  The  latter  is  de- 
rived from  the  sexual  appetite  and  from  vanity,  and  has  only 
been  incorporated  in  the  dogmas  of  religious  mysticism  after 
being  fu'st  established  in  the  habits  of  the  people. 

Among  savages  the  men  are  more  inclined  to  personal  adorn- 
ment and  to  coquetry  than  the  women.  This  is  not  due  to  the 
inferior  social  position  of  the  women,  for  those  who  enjoy  the 
greatest  liberty  are  often  less  extensively  tattooed  than  those 
who  are  reduced  to  slavery.  The  true  reason  is  that  the  man 
risks  much  more  than  the  woman  by  remaining  celibate,  and 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF   SEXUAL  LIFE  157 

this  obliges  him  to  take  more  pains  than  the  women  to  make 
himself  fascinating.  As  a  rule  the  wives  of  savages  attach  less 
importance  to  their  personal  appearance  than  to  that  of  their 
husbands,  and  the  vanity  of  the  latter  is  guided  chiefly  by  the 
taste  of  their  wives.  The  objects  with  which  savages  adorn 
themselves  are  generally  trophies. 

Among  civilized  people,  on  the  contrary,  the  men  have  a  much 
wider  choice  and  many  women  remain  celibate.  This  is  one  of 
the  reasons  which  compel  women  to  study  their  personal  appear- 
ance and  the  art  of  flirtation.  In  Europe,  earrings  represent 
the  last  vestige  of  the  savage  methods  of  adornment. 

Sentiment  of  Shame  of  the  Genital  Organs.  Nudity. — What 
is  the  origin  of  the  fact  that  man  is  ashamed  of  his  genital 
organs?  Nothing  of  the  kind  occurs  in  animals.  The  psychol- 
ogist, Wundt,  maintains  that  man  has  always  had  a  sexual  sen- 
timent of  modesty.  This  is  not  correct,  for  many  races  present 
no  trace  of  it,  and  sometimes  cover  all  parts  of  their  body  except 
the  genital  organs.  In  some,  the  men,  and  in  others  the  women 
go  absolutely  naked.  Originally,  clothes  were  only  worn  for 
adornment  or  for  protection  against  the  cold.  The  Massais 
would  be  ashamed  to  hide  their  penis,  and  it  is  their  custom  to 
exhibit  it.  Other  savages  cover  the  glans  penis  only  with  a 
small  cap;  they  retire  to  pass  water,  but  regard  themselves  as 
fully  dressed  so  long  as  the  glans  penis  is  covered.  The  girdles 
and  other  garments  of  savage  women  are  intended  for  ornament, 
and  as  a  means  of  attraction;  they  have  nothing  to  do  with 
modesty.  In  a  society  where  every  one  goes  naked,  nudity 
seems  quite  natural,  and  provokes  neither  shame  nor  eroticism. 
The  custom  of  adorning  the  sexual  organs  then  serves  as  a  means 
of  attraction,  both  in  men  and  women.  The  short  transparent 
skirts  of  a  ballet  dancer  are  in  reality  much  more  immodest  than 
the  nudity  of  the  female  savages.  A  great  naturalist  has  said 
that  veiled  forms  provoke  the  sexual  appetite  more  than  nudity. 
Snow  remarks  that  association  with  naked  savages  excites  much 
less  sensuality  than  the  society  of  fashionably  dressed  women  in 
our  salons.  Read  also  remarks  "Nothing  is  more  moral  or  less 
calculated  to  excite  the  passions  than  nudity."  It  is  needless  to 
say  that  this  statement  is  only  correct  when  nudity  is  a  matter 


158  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

of  custom,  for  in  sexual  matters  it  is  always  novelty  which 
attracts.  Pious  persons  have  tried  to  make  savages  modest  by 
clothing  them,  but  have  only  produced  the  contrary  effect. 
Savage  women  regard  it  as  shameful  to  cover  their  sexual  organs. 
The  naturalist,  Wallace,  found  in  one  tribe  a  young  girl  who 
possessed  a  dress,  but  who  was  quite  as  much  ashamed  of  cloth- 
ing herself  \\ath  it  as  one  of  our  ladies  would  be  of  undressing 
before  strangers. 

It  is  only  o\^dng  to  the  custom  of  wearing  clothes  that 
nudity  provokes  the  sexual  appetite.  This- custom  develops 
artificially  a  sentiment  of  modesty  with  regard  to  nudity,  which 
increases  progressively  in  intensity  and  is  especiaUy  marked  in 
aged  women.  It  is  not  so  much  habit,  as  to  the  feelmg  of  pro- 
gressive deterioration  of  their  charms,  which  leads  the  latter  to 
cover  themselves  as  they  grow  older,  and  is  part  of  the  instinctive 
aesthetic  sentiment  of  woman. 

At  the  orgies  and  fetes  held  among  savages  the  women  cover 
their  sexual  organs  with  certain  objects,  as  a  means  to  excite 
the  men.  Complete  nudity  is  found  more  often  in  savage  women 
than  in  the  men. 

Later  on  when  it  became  the  custom  to  wear  clothes,  nudity 
became  attractive  and  was  considered  shameful.  This  is  why 
the  Chinese  feel  shame  at  exposing  their  feet,  the  Mahometans 
their  faces,  and  some  savages  even  the  ends  of  their  fingers. 

Certain  customs,  like  circumcision  among  the  Jews,  Poly- 
nesians and  Australians;  the  artificial  elongation  of  the  lips  of 
the  vulva  in  Hottentots,  Malays,  and  North  American  Indians, 
originated,  according  to  Westermark,  in  the  intention  of  exciting 
the  sexual  appetite,  or  of  introducing  variety  into  its  satis- 
faction. Later  on  routine,  which  sanctions  everj^thing,  trans- 
ferred these  customs  into  religious  cult.  It  is  possible,  however, 
that  among  the  Jews,  who  are  a  practical  race,  the  hygienic 
advantage  of  circumcision  took  a  part  in  its  transformation 
into  a  rite. 

To  resume,  everything  derogatory  to  established  custom  ex- 
cites the  sentiment  of  shame  or  modesty,  not  only  in  sexual  mat- 
ters but  in  others.  Most  children  are  ashamed  of  not  beha\ing 
exactly  as  their  comrades  or  their  brothers  and  sisters,  and  are 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  159 

very  uncomfortable  if  they  are  obliged  to  behave  otherwise. 
All  sentiments  of  morality  and  modesty  rest  on  conventionalities. 
The  savage  women  burst  into  laughter  when  the  naked  com- 
panions of  Livingstone  turned  their  backs  from  modesty.  The 
sentiment  of  modesty  or  shame  thus  depends  only  on  excep- 
tional violation  of  an  old  custom.  This  is  why  unconventional 
ways  in  one  of  the  sexes  (especially  in  woman)  tend  to  offend 
the  sentiments  of  modesty,  and  usually  excite  the  sexual  appe- 
tite of  the  other  sex. 

LIBERTY   OF   CHOICE    IN   MARRIAGE — PATRIARCHISM 

Among  savages,  the  women  sometimes  have  the  right  of  giv- 
ing their  hand  in  marriage,  sometimes  not.  The  latter  case  is 
not  surprising  in  countries  where  women  are  considered  as  mer- 
chandise. Among  the  Esquimaux  every  girl  is  betrothed  from 
birth.  Among  the  Boschimans,  Ashantis,  etc.,  the  unborn  girl 
is  even  betrothed  while  she  is  in  her  mother's  womb!  These 
betrothals  are  generally  arranged  by  the  maternal  parents 
together  with  the  mother. 

Very  often,  however,  the  consent  of  the  woman  is  required; 
or,  the  marriage  may  be  only  valid  after  the  birth  of  the  first 

1  child  on  condition  of  the  woman's  consent. 

I      Among  the  American  Indians,  if  the  woman  is  not  a  consent- 

;  ing  party  she  elopes  with  her  lover  and  thus  escapes  the  would- 
be-husband.  In  this  way  elopement  has  gradually  become  a 
recognized  institution  among  certain  races.     I  was  told  by  a 

[  Bulgarian  that  the  peasants  in  his  country  buy  their  wives  from 
the  father,  generally  for  two  or  three  hundred  francs,  but  if  the 
father  demands  too  much,  the  women  are  raped.  After  this 
marriage  becomes  indispensable  and  the  father  receives  nothing; 
for,  in  Bulgaria,  which  is  not  yet  spoiled  by  civilization,  unions 
apart  from  marriage  are  considered  as  a  terrible  disgrace. 

In  certain  races,  the  woman  has  a  free  choice  among  several 
men  and  her  wish  becomes  law,  so  that  the  parents  have  no  voice 
in  the  matter;  this  occurs  among  the  natives  of  the  Celebes. 
The  bridegroom  is  nevertheless  obliged  to  pay  the  dowry  de- 
manded. Similar  customs  prevail  among  other  races. 
Westermark  comes  to  the  conclusoin  that  in  the  primitive 


160  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

state  of  humanity  the  women  had  a  much  freer  choice  than 
afterward.  Marriage  by  purchase  developed  later  and  consti- 
tuted an  intermediate  stage.  T\Tien  the  first  civilizations 
became  more  complicated  and  recognized  the  value  of  woman's 
labor,  the  fathers  began  to  sell  their  daughters,  as  we  now  see 
savage  tribes  abandon  their  women  to  prostitution  with  the 
white  man.  But  in  primitive  times,  when  there  was  neither 
civilization,  money,  nor  labor,  properly  so-called,  each  indi\ddual 
fought  for  his  life  and  the  father  had  no  more  possibility  of  selling 
his  daughter  as  a  slave  than  a  gorilla  or  an  "orang-utan  would 
have  to-day. 

Marriage  by  rape,  which  occurred  after  wars  when  the  women 
were  abducted  and  married  against  their  will,  must  not  be  con- 
founded with  marriage  by  elopement  which  takes  place  with 
the  woman's  consent,  and  of  which  the  latest  fashion  is  elope- 
ment by  automobile. 

Among  savages,  the  boys  are  also  most  often  the  property  of 
the  father,  who  has  the  right  to  sell  them  and  even  to  put  them 
to  death.  But  they  become  free  at  the  age  of  puberty  and  then 
have  the  right  to  marry  according  to  their  inclination  without 
being  forced  by  their  parents. 

There  existed  and  still  exist  many  patriarchal  races  (certain 
Indians  and  Asiatics,  for  example)  among  whom  the  father 
possesses  unlimited  power.  The  older  he  is  the  more  he  is 
honored,  and  the  more  his  power  is  uncontested.  All  the  chil- 
dren and  gi-andchildren,  with  their  wives  and  children,  eat  at 
his  table;  none  of  his  descendants  can  many  without  his  con- 
sent, etc.  The  effects  of  patriarchism  are  deplorable  and  very 
immoral.  The  patriarch  abuses  his  power — gives  his  old  wives 
to  his  childi'en  and  takes  the  young  ones,  for  example.  The 
purest  and  most  \drtuous  Japanese  girl  is  obliged  to  go  to  a 
brothel  if  her  father  orders  it.  The  patriarch  has  the  power  of 
life  and  death  over  both  sexes,  and  from  tliis  is  derived  the  cult 
of  ancestors.  At  the  present  day  we  see  immorality  of  this  kind 
in  the  Russian  patriarchism  among  the  peasants;  the  fathers 
have  the  custom  of  misusing  their  sons'  wives.  Patriarchism 
thus  degenerates  into  atrocious  t3Tanny  on  the  part  of  the  chief 
Df  the  family,  who  becomes  looked  upon  as  a  god. 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF   SEXUAL  LIFE  161 

A  law  which  is  common  in  the  Latin  races,  which  forbids 
marriage  before  the  age  of  thirty,  without  the  consent  of  the 
father,  is  a  vestige  of  patriarchism. 

We  see,  therefore,  that  quite  primitive  savage  races  ap- 
proached our  most  modern  ideas  in  Hberty  of  choice  in  mar- 
riage. Between  these  two  periods  humanity  was  under  the  yoke 
of  a  barbarous  error — the  intermediate  stage  of  marriage  by 
purchase  and  patriarchal  autocracy.  There  has  existed  and 
still  exists  more  than  one  aberration  of  this  kind  in  the  inter- 
mediate stages  of  civilization;  for  instance,  torture,  slavery  and 
the  use  of  narcotic  substances,  such  as  alcohol. 

SEXUAL  SELECTION 

By  sexual  selection  we  mean  union  by  choice  among  males 
and  females.  In  the  vertebrates,  the  female  chooses  much 
more  commonly  than  the  male,  the  latter  being  more  disposed 
to  pair  with  all  the  females  than  the  females  with  all  the  males. 
We  may  certainly  admit  that  this  was  also  the  case  in  primitive 
man,  especially  when  there  existed  a  rutting  period,  for  then  the 
sexual  appetite  was  more  violent.  Moreover,  even  at  the  pres- 
ent day,  women  are  on  the  average  more  difficult  to  please  and 
more  strict  in  their  choice  than  men. 

In  the  case  of  hybrids  it  is  generally  the  male  which  violates 
the  law  of  instinct.  Female  slaves  often  flee  from  their  free 
husbands,  but  we  never  see  male  slaves  abandon  their  free 
wives.  Among  savage  races  the  woman  is  always  more  difficult 
to  please  than  the  man.  Among  half-breeds,  it  is  nearly  always 
the  father  who  belongs  to  a  higher  race.  The  inverse  rarely 
occurs;  it  is  exceptional  for  a  white  woman  to  marry  a  negro. 
The  same  thing  is  reproduced  among  ourselves;  we  often  see  a 
cultured  man  marry  an  uneducated  woman,  but  a  cultured 
woman  seldom  marries  a  laborer. 

It  is  especially  among  savages  that  the  woman  prefers  the 
man  who  is  strongest,  most  skillful,  most  ardent,  and  most  auda- 
cious. Heroes  always  haunt  the  minds  of  women,  who  love  to 
throw  themselves  at  the  head  of  conquerors.  The  ideal  of  cer- 
tain women  in  Borneo  is  a  husband  who  has  killed  many  enemies 
and    possesses   their   heads    (head-hunters    of    Borneo).     This 


162  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

psychological  trait  responds  to  natural  selection,  for  the  women 
obtain  by  this  custom  better  protectors  and  stronger  children. 

On  the  other  hand,  man  looks  instinctively  for  a  young, 
healthy  and  well-developed  woman.  It  is  on  this  basis  that 
Greek  art  formed  Eros  and  Aphrodite,  designatmg  the  latter  as 
goddess  of  both  love  and  beauty. 

Conception  of  Beauty. — The  conception  of  beauty  is  very 
relative.  The  Australians  laugh  at  our  long  noses  and  the 
natives  of  Cochin-China  at  our  white  teeth  and  red  cheeks. 
Certain  savage  women  bind  their  legs  below  the  knees  to  make 
them  swell,  this  effect  being  part  of  their  idea  of  beauty.  The 
Chinese  admire  the  deformed  feet  of  their  women  and  their 
prominent  cheek  bones.  In  each  nation  the  conception  of 
beauty  generally  corresponds  to  the  ideal  type  of  the  race,  for 
both  sexes.^As  a  general  rule  muscle  is  admired  in  man  and 
fullness  of  figure  in  woman.  The  Hottentots  like  women's 
breasts  to  be  so  pendulous  that  they  can  throw  them  over  shoul- 
der, and  suckle  the  infants  carried  on  their  backs;  they  also 
admire  the  elongated  lips  of  the  vulva. 

There  are,  therefore,  few  general  typical  characters  of  sexual 
preference;  these  are  especially  the  ideal  type  of  the  race  and 
the  health  of  both  sexes,  voluptuous  forms  and  grace  in  women, 
muscular  strength  and  dexterity  in  men.  Everything  else  is 
relative  and  variable,  and  depends  on  the  local  point  of  view, 
customs,  race,  individual  taste,  etc. 

Thus,  according  to  the  conception  of  aesthetics,  tattooing,  the 
arrangement  of  the  hair  and  beard,  deformations  of  the  nose, 
cranium,  or  feet,  are  admired  by  different  peoples.  Each  race 
extols  its  own  peculiarities;  the  European  compares  a  woman's 
breasts  to  snow,  the  Malay  to  gold,  etc.  The  natives  of  Coro- 
mandel  paint  their  gods  black  and  their  devils  white,  while  in 
Europe  it  is  the  reverse. 

The  association  of  love  with  beauty  is  not  based  on  aesthetic 
sentiments,  for  the  latter  are  disinterested,  while  the  original 
instinct  of  love  is  interested.  The  association  of  the  two  things 
depends  on  the  instinctive  necessity  of  health,  combined  with 
the  sexual  appetite,  although  custom  has  produced  numerous 
aberrations.     Everything  which  differs  markedly  from  the  type 


ETHNOLOGY   XNB   HISTORY   OF   SEXUAL   LIFE  163 

of  the  race  is  more  or  less  pathological.  This  is  why  instinct, 
determined  by  natural  selection,  repels  it. 

Fashion  also  rules  among  savages,  but  is  less  changeable 
among  them  than  with  us,  and  their  taste  for  adornment  only 
varies  in  the  narrow  circle  of  their  customs. 

Climate  has  a  powerful  action  on  the  types  of  races,  the  latter 
being  generally  adapted  to  the  climate  in  which  they  live.  Thus, 
the  European  becomes  darker  in  the  tropics  while  negroes  and 
Indians  become  paler  in  the  north. 

LAWS  OF  RESEMBLANCE — HYBRIDS 

Every  animal  species  has  an  instinctive  repugnance  to  pair 
with  another.  Even  where  they  are  possible,  natural  hybrids 
are  rare,  and  only  become  a  little  more  frequent  in  domestic 
animals  and  plants.  The  fecundity  of  hybrids  diminishes  when 
they  have  connection  among  themselves,  and  this  explains  why 
the  instinct  for  such  connections  tends  to  gradually  disappear. 

In  his  book  on  "The  Mneme,"  Semon  explains  the  infecundity 
of  hybrids  in  a  very  plausible  manner,  by  the  disorder  that  a  too 
large  quantity  of  dissimilar  hereditary  engrams  causes  in  the 
hereditary  mneme  of  two  conjugated  cells.  When  the  parents 
differ  from  each  other  only  in  a  moderate  degree  homophony 
may  still  be  reestablished,  and  then  the  divergencies  have  a  very 
favorable  effect  on  the  product,  by  the  new  combinations  which 
they  furnish  in  the  course  of  its  development. 

Moral  ideas  follow  the  course  of  instincts,  and  this  explains 
why  sexual  connection  with  animals  is  regarded  as  a  horrible 
crime.  This  is  especially  produced  by  pathological  aberration, 
or  when  one  sex  is  completely  isolated  from  the  other.  There 
is  also  a  certain  degree  of  aversion  to  copulation  between  differ- 
ent races,  in  animals  as  well  as  man;  for  example,  between 
sheep  and  horses  of  different  races,  and  between  white  men, 
negroes  and  Indians.  There  are,  however,  many  hybrids  or 
half-breeds  in  South  America,  and  in  Mexico  they  even  constitute 
two-thirds  of  the  population. 

Broca  maintained  that  human  hybrids  produced  by  the  cross- 
ing of  remote  races,  for  example,  between  English  and  negroes 
or   Australians,   were   usually   sterile,      Westermark   disputes 


164  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

this,  but  agrees  that  these  hybrids  become  enfeebled  in  a  few 
generations.  It  has  also  been  established  that  mixed  marriage 
between  Jews  and  Aryans  are  generally  less  fecund;  but  this 
fact  is  not  yet  sufficiently  explamed.  Mulattoes,  or  hybrids 
between  negroes  and  whites,  constitute  a  degenerate  race  and 
hardly  viable,  at  any  rate  if  then-  descendants  do  not  return 
entirely  to  one  of  the  original  races.  Half-breeds  between  whites 
and  American  Indians,  also  called  Ladinos,  seem  on  the  contrary 
to  form  a  viable  race,  but  one  of  little  valor. 

PROHIBITION   OF   CONSANGUINEOUS   MARRIAGES 

Sexual  union  between  near  relations  nearly  always  causes  a 
feeling  of  repugnance  in  man,  and  has  been  stigmatized  by  the 
term  incest.  Coitus  between  mother  and  son  especially  excites 
disgust.  Sexual  connection  between  parents  and  children,  as 
well  as  between  brothers  and  sisters  is,  however,  common 
among  certain  tribes.  Many  other  races  allow  marriage  between 
brothers  and  sisters,  but  this  is  elsewhere  generally  condemned. 

Among  the  Weddas,  marriage  between  an  elder  brother  and 
his  younger  sister  is  considered  normal,  while  that  between  a 
younger  brother  and  his  elder  sister,  or  between  a  nephew  and 
his  aunt,  is  regarded  as  unnatural.  The  latter  simply  shows 
that  unions  between  young  men  and  old  women  are  not  natural. 
Unions  between  brothers  and  sisters,  and  especially  between 
half-brothers  and  half-sisters  were  licit  among  the  Persians, 
Egyptians,  Syrians,  Athenians  and  ancient  Jews.  Those  be- 
tween uncles  and  nieces  (more  rarely  between  aunts  and  neph- 
ews) are  sometimes  permitted,  sometimes  prohibited.  With 
the  exception  of  Spain  and  Russia  marriages  between  first  cous- 
ins are  allowed  in  Europe. 

Exogamy  and  Endogamy. — Among  many  savages  the  prohi- 
bition of  consanguineous  marriage  may  be  extended  to  relation- 
ship of  the  third  degree.  Marriage  may  even  be  prohibited 
among  all  members  of  the  same  tribe  or  clan,  even  when  they 
are  not  related.  This  is  called  exogamous  marriage,  and  reaches 
its  extreme  development  among  the  Australians,  who  are  only 
allowed  to  marry  into  remote  clans. 

We  thus  see  that  the  great  majority  of  savages  extend  their 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  165 

idea  of  incest  much  further  than  we  do.  The  reason  of  this  has 
been  much  discussed.  It  was  formerly  said  that  consanguineous 
marriage  w^as  contrary  to  the  commandments  of  God;  that  it 
offended  the  natural  sentiment  of  modesty;  that  it  obscures 
relationship,  etc.  Nowadays,  it  is  said  to  be  injurious  to  pos- 
terity. Ethnography  teaches  us,  however,  that  these  state- 
ments are  of  little  value. 

Along  with  the  exogamy  of  many  tribes  there  is  among  other 
savages  a  system  of  endogamy,  described  by  MacLennan;  this 
is  the  prohibition  of  marriage  between  different  clans.  Spencer 
and  MacLennan  have  different  explanations  of  this  custom 
which  seem  hardly  natural.  Westermark  appears  to  be  nearer 
the  truth  in  remarking  as  follows:  The  sexual  appetite,  espe- 
cially in  man,  is  excited  by  new  impressions  and  cooled  by  habit. 
It  is  not  the  fact  of  a  man  and  woman  being  related,  but  inti- 
mate companionship  since  youth,  which  produces  in  them  a 
repugnance  to  sexual  union.  We  find  the  same  repugnance 
between  adopted  brothers  and  sisters  and  between  friends  who 
have  been  intimate  since  childhood.  When,  on  the  contrary, 
brothers  and  sisters  or  near  relatives  have  been  separated  from 
each  other  since  an  early  age,  they  often  fall  in  love  with  each 
other  when  they  meet  later  on.  There  is,  therefore,  no  innate 
or  instinctive  repugnance  to  incest  in  itself,  but  only  against 
sexual  union  between  individuals  who  have  lived  together  since 
childhood.  As  it  is  parents  and  their  children  who  are  usually 
in  this  situation,  everything  is  explained  simply  and  clearly. 

The  causes  of  exogamy  are  explained  in  the  same  way,  by  the 
fact  that  members  of  the  same  clan  often  live  together  in  close 
intimacy.  It  is  the  small  clans,  formed  of  thirty  or  fifty  indi- 
viduals of  a  few  families  living  together,  which  have  the  most 
severe  laws  against  incest  or  endogamy.  Where  the  families 
live  in  separate  homes,  such  prohibitions  do  not  exist.  The 
Maoris,  who  are  endogamous,  inhabit  villages  which  are  widely 
separated,  and  marriage  between  relations  is  allowed.  En- 
dogamy generally  exists  where  the  clan  life  is  Httle  developed, 
and  where  relatives  know  and  see  little  of  each  other.  The 
aversion  to  marriage  between  persons  living  together  has  thus 
created  prohibition  of  marriage  between  relations  as  well  as 


166  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

that  of  marriage  between  members  of  the  same  clan.  It  is  the 
same  reason  which  has  led  to  the  prohibition  of  marriage  between 
brothers-  and  sisters-in-law,  between  brothers  and  adopted 
sisters,  etc.  In  people  living  in  small  communities,  endogamy- 
does  not  appear  to  have  ever  existed. 

Incest  between  relatives  living  together  appears  to  have 
everywhere  the  same  natural  cause — the  scarcity  of  women  in 
isolated  families  living  in  remote  districts.  There  is  also  a 
psycho-pathological  form  of  incest  associated  with  morbid  ap- 
petites in  the  families  of  degenerates.  In  animals  living  alone 
and  whose  families  break  up  very  rapidly  (cats  for  example) 
incestuous  unions,  between  parents  and  young,  for  instance, 
are  quite  common. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  scientific  side  of  the  question.  We 
see  everywhere  that  sexual  union  between  quite  distinct  animal 
species  gives  no  result.  At  the  most,  certain  closely  allied 
species,  such  as  the  ass  and  the  horse,  the  rabbit  and  the  hare, 
give  progeny  which  are  themselves  sterile  (mules,  etc.).  The 
feebleness  and  sterility  of  hybrids  derived  from  widely  separated 
races  or  nearly  allied  different  species  proves  the  deficiency  in 
vital  force  of  the  offspring  of  fundamentally  dissimilar  procre- 
ators.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  the  dangers  of  continuous  con- 
sanguineous reproduction  are  no  less  evident.  Perpetual  unions 
between  brothers  and  sisters  for  several  generations,  lead  to 
degeneration  of  the  race.  For  example,  the  still-births  will  be 
25  per  cent,  instead  of  8  per  cent.,  which  is  the  figure  in  ordinary 
crossings.  The  prejudice  against  consanguineous  unions  maj^", 
however,  depend  on  the  accumulation  of  certain  pathological 
defects. 

Westermark  admits  that  it  is  difficult  to  show  clearly  that 
consanguineous  marriages  are  prejudicial  in  man.  The  con- 
sanguinity which  causes  evil  effects  in  animals  concerns  long- 
continued  unions  between  parents  and  children  or  brothers  and 
sisters.  But  this  never  occurs  in  man.  Animals  and  plants 
may  be  perpetuated  for  many  years  in  the  closest  consanguinity 
without  degeneration  resulting.  Among  the  Persians  and 
Egyptians,  intimate  unions  have  existed  for  a  long  time  without 
producing  degeneration. 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LH^E  167 

On  the  other  hand,  breeders  of  animals  tell  us  that  a  single 
drop  of  new  blood  (or  rather  sperm)  is  enough  to  counteract  all 
the  evil  effects  of  consanguinity.  In  man  the  most  frequent 
incests  are  always  interrupted  by  some  other  union.  The 
Ptolemies,  who  nearly  always  married  their  sisters,  nieces  or 
cousins,  lived  long  and  were  far  from  being  sterile.  In  Ceylon, 
the  Weddas  perpetuate  their  consanguineous  unions;  insanity 
is  rare  among  them,  but  they  are  small,  unfruitful  and  tend  to 
become  extinct. 

In  Europe,  the  question  of  marriages  between  first  cousins 
has  been  much  discussed,  and  it  has  been  constantly  attempted 
to  prove  that  they  are  injurious.  Nevertheless,  when  we  exam- 
ine the  question  impartially,  we  always  find  that  the  prejudices 
against  them  do  not  arrive  from  consanguinity,  but  from  cer- 
tain pathological  defects,  such  as  insanity,  hemophilia,  etc., 
which  are  naturally  perpetuated  by  consanguineous  unions  when 
they  are  accumulated  in  one  family,  as  weU  as  when  two  insane 
persons  of  different  families  marry.  Therefore  it  is  not  con- 
sanguineous unions  in  themselves  (which  are  always  accidental 
in  man  and  interrupted  by  others)  but  the  hereditary  reproduc- 
tion of  pathological  defects,  often  of  blastophthoric  origin,  which 
are  the  real  cause  of  the  evil.  Statistics  have  clearly  proved 
that  marriage  between  first  cousins  plays  no  part  in  the  causes 
of  insanity. 

Influenced,  no  doubt,  by  general  opinion,  Westermark  tries 
to  believe  in  some  instinctive  repulsion  of  man  for  consan- 
guineous unions.  If  in  modern  society  such  unions,  perpetuated 
between  parents  and  children,  brothers  and  sisters,  were  still 
produced  as  in  animals  I  should  agree  that  they  might  be  inju- 
rious to  the  species;  but,  considering  how  cosmopolitan  and 
mixed  is  our  modern  society,  I  cannot  make  the  concession. 
On  the  contrary,  I  maintain  that  the  isolated  unions  which  still 
take  place  between  relatives  in  civilized  countries  are  so  excep- 
tional that  they  do  not  present  the  least  danger,  excepting  among 
the  families  of  degenerates.  It  is  therefore  only  a  question  of 
superstition.  What  we  have  to  guard  against  are  unions  be- 
tween pathological  individuals  and  blastophthoric  influences. 
We  must  not  forget  that  many  degenerates  and  idiots  have  a 


168  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

great  pathological  tendency  to  incest,  and  this  is  no  doubt  why 
the  effect  has  been  confounded  with  the  cause. 

Westermark  himself  gives  us  a  striking  example.  Since  the 
most  remote  times  the  inhabitants  of  the  Commune  of  Bats, 
composed  of  3,300  persons,  have  intermarried;  yet  this  popula- 
tion is  very  healthy  and  vigorous  and  shows  no  sign  of  degen- 
eration. On  the  other  hand,  we  have  seen  that  contrasts  pro- 
duce a  mutual  attraction  in  the  domain  of  love,  whUe  strong 
resemblances  rather  repel.  Bernardin  de  St.  Pierre  has  said  that 
love  is  created  by  contrasts ;  the  greater  the  contrast  the  greater 
the  love.  Schopenhauer  remarks  as  follows :  "  Every  indi\ddual 
seeks  in  the  opposite  sex  peculiarities  which  contrast  with  his 
own;  the  most  masculine  man  seeks  the  most  feminine  woman, 
while  small  and  feeble  men  love  large  and  strong  women;  people 
^Aith  short  noses  prefer  long  ones,  tall  and  thin  men  prefer  short 
and  stout  women.  All  this  increases  fecundity."  Thus  in- 
stinct is  sufficient  to  protect  humanity  against  consanguinity, 
each  sex  instinctively  seeking  the  contrasts  which  consan- 
guinity diminishes. 

SENTIMENT  AND   CALCULATION  IN  SEXUAL  SELECTION 

Youth,  beauty,  health,  finery  and  flirtation  excite  the  sexual 
appetite.  Many  other  sentmients  are  accessory,  such  as  admi- 
ration, the  pleasure  of  possession,  respect,  pity,  etc.  Inclination 
is  an  important  element,  but  in  no  way  necessary  to  sexual 
union. 

In  the  lower  stages  of  human  development,  tenderness  to- 
ward children  is  much  stronger  than  sexual  love.  Among  many 
savage  races  the  love  of  a  man  for  his  viiie  is  completely  wanting, 
as  well  as  that  of  the  wife  for  her  husband.  In  this  case  mar- 
riage depends  on  reciprocal  convenience,  on  the  desire  to  have 
children,  and  profits  by  personal  comfort  and  the  satisfaction 
of  a  purely  animal  sexual  appetite.  However,  among  these  peo- 
ple the  parents  have  a  tender  regard  for  their  children.  The 
husband  has  the  right  to  beat  his  wife,  but  the  wife  is  considered 
as  unnatural  or  even  criminal  if  she  beats  her  children.  Among 
the  North  American  Indians,  for  example,  conjugal  love  is,  so  to 
speak,  unknown.     On  the  other  hand,  in  other  savage  races. 


ETHNOLOGY   AND   HISTORY   OF   SEXUAL   LIFE  169 

such  as  the  Touaregs,  the  Niam-Niams,  the  New  Caledonians, 
the  Tonganese  and  Austrahans,  the  conjoints  have  a  deep  affec- 
tion for  each  other,  and  the  husband  often  commits  suicide  on 
the  death  of  his  wife.  On  the  whole,  the  sentiments  of  affection 
of  the  conjoints  are  the  result  of  a  long  sexual  life  in  common, 
and  they  are  especially  strengthened  by  the  love  of  the  parents 
for  their  children. 

As  a  rule,  the  mutual  attachment  of  conjoints  for  each  other 
among  cultivated  races  is  developed  along  with  altruism.  The 
tenderness  and  refinement  of  love  as  they  exist  at  the  present 
day  among  highly  civilized  races  were  unknown  to  most  sav- 
ages and  to  the  older  civilizations.  In  China  it  is  considered 
good  manners  to  beat  the  wife,  and  when  a  poor  Chinaman  treats 
his  wife  with  consideration,  it  is  to  avoid  having  to  buy  another. 
What  the  Arab  understands  by  love  is  only  sexual  appetite,  and 
among  the  ancient  Greeks  it  was  nearly  the  same. 

In  civilized  Europe  mental  culture  progresses  in  the  direction 
of  equality  of  rights  between  the  two  sexes,  so  that  a  man  re- 
gards his  wife  more  as  a  companion  who  is  his  equal  and  no  longer 
a  slave.  Community  of  interests,  opinions,  sentiments  and  cul- 
ture constitute  a  primary  condition  for  sentiments  of  mutual 
sympathy  and  favors  affection.  No  doubt,  excitation  of  the 
sexual  appetite  by  contrasts  acts  here  as  an  antagonistic  force. 
Contrast  should  not  be  so  great  as  to  exclude  sympathy. 

Too  great  difference  in  age  is  dangerous  for  attachment,  for 
it  causes  too  great  a  divergence  in  the  aims  and  interests  of  life. 
Education  and  social  equality  also  favors  love,  and  this  tends 
to  preserve  class  distinction.  It  is  rare  for  a  well-educated  man 
to  fall  in  love  with  a  peasant,  or  a  laboring  man  with  an  educated 
woman,  except  in  a  sensual  way.  Men  generally  avoid  marriage 
with  individuals  of  another  race,  or  of  another  religion. 

Endogamy  and  exogamy  do  not  form  such  an  absolute  con- 
trast as  at  first  sight  might  appear.  Even  among  exogamous 
races,  there  is  a  limit  which  must  not  be  passed.  These  races 
often  prohibit  marriage  with  individuals  of  another  race.  Among 
the  Arabs,  for  example,  the  instinct  of  ethnical  separation  is  so 
strong,  that  the  same  Bedouin  wife  who  wall  prostitute  herself 
for  money  with  Turks  or  Europeans,  would  think  it  dishonorable 


170  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

to  marry  one  of  them.  In  this  way  custom  produces  endogamy 
of  caste  and  class  among  the  same  people.  The  same  with  the 
nobility;  in  ancient  Rome  it  was  forbidden  for  a  patrician  to 
marry  a  plebeian.  Sometimes  an  endogamy  of  religious  origin 
is  met  with,  among  the  Jews  for  example. 

Children  are  treasures  for  the  man  of  low  culture,  while  they 
become  a  burden  to  the  cultivated  man.  In  spite  of  this  the 
natural  man  ardently  desires  children.  In  Switzerland,  two- 
fifths  of  the  divorces  occur  in  sterile  unions,  although  the  latter 
only  form  one-fifth  of  all  marriages. 

Calculation  often  smothers  sentiment  when  it  becomes  the 
basis  of  marriage.  We  live  to-day  under  the  sway  of  Mammon, 
with  the  result  that  the  influence  of  love,  strength,  beauty, 
capacity  for  work,  intelligence,  skill,  character  and  even 
health,  count  for  little  compared  with  money  in  the  question 
of  marriage.  This  sad  sign  is  really  a  new  form  of  marriage  by 
purchase,  hypocritically  disguised. 

MARRIAGE   BY   RAPE    AND   MARRIAGE   BY   PURCHASE 

The  rape  of  women  is  an  established  custom  in  some  regions. 
Certain  marriage  ceremonies  prove  that  rape  was  formerly  much 
more  common  than  at  the  present  day.  Among  certain  Indian 
tribes  the  simulation  of  rape  and  abduction  of  the  woman  form 
part  of  the  marriage  ceremonies;  custom  requiring  that  the 
woman  must  feign  to  resist. 

According  to  Spencer,  marriage  by  rape  originated  in  the 
prudery  of  woman,  while  MacLennan  attributes  it  to  the  pre- 
dominance of  exogamy;  but,  in  reality,  marriage  by  rape  exists 
in  races  which  are  absolutely  endogamous.  Westermark  believes 
it  arose  from  the  repugnance  to  unions  contracted  in  a  narrow 
circle.  The  savage  has  difficulty  in  procuring  a  wife  without 
giving  the  father  compensation;  besides,  his  own  repugnance  to 
the  companions  of  his  childhood  and  the  prejudices  against 
unions  between  relations,  as  well  as  the  enmity  of  other  clans, 
all  increase  the  difficulties  to  be  overcome.  This  is  why  he  often 
decides  on  rape.  Marriage  by  rape  has  not,  however,  been  the 
rule  at  any  period,  and  on  the  whole,  unions  concluded  by 
mutual  agreement  have  always  predominated. 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  171 

Marriage  by  purchase  has  followed  marriage  by  rape,  and 
forms  a  slightly  higher  stage  of  civilization,  developed  by  ex- 
change of  money  or  other  symbols.  It  first  appears,  in  Austra- 
lia, for  example,  as  marriage  by  exchange  (exchange  of  a  woman 
for  a  sister  or  a  daughter).  Afterward  young  men  gain  their 
wives  by  working  as  servants  for  the  father.  In  marriage  by 
purchase  the  price  is  based  on  the  beauty,  health  and  social 
position  of  the  woman,  A  young  girl  is  generally  worth  more 
than  a  widow  or  a  rejected  woman.  Skill  in  female  manual 
labor  also  increases  the  price.  Among  the  Indians  of  British 
Columbia  a  wife  will  cost  from  twenty  to  forty  pounds  sterling, 
while  in  Oregon  they  are  exchanged  for  bisons'  skins  or  blankets. 
Among  the  Kaffii's  from  three  to  ten  cows  is  a  low  price,  twenty 
to  thirty  a  high  price  for  a  wife.  When  a  wife  was  given  gratis, 
her  parents  had  a  right  to  the  children.  Marriage  by  purchase 
and  by  exchange  still  exists  among  the  lower  races  as  it  formerly 

i  ruled  among  civilized  peoples.    We  still  possess  the  rudiments. 
Marriage  by  rape  or  by  purchase  has,  however,  never  been 
in  general  usage.    Certain  races  in  India  and  Africa  considered 
it  a  disgrace  to  pay  a  price  for  a  wife. 

From  the  historical  point  of  view  it  is  interesting  to  note  that, 
in  the  ceremonies  of  mMiiage  by  purchase,  a  simulated  and 
symbolical  rape  of  the  betrothed  still  recalls  the  old  form  of 

I  marriage  by  rape;  also,  in  races  where  a  higher  form  has  replaced 
marriage  by  purchase,  traces  of  the  latter  are  still  preserved  in 
certain  nuptial  symbols. 

j       DECADENCE  OF  MARRIAGE  BY  PURCHASE — THE  DOT 

'  The  position  of  woman  has  undergone  steady  improvement 
;  in  higher  civilization  by  the  progress  of  altruism.  This  is  why 
■  culture,  in  India,  China,  Greece,  Rome  and  Germany,  etc.,  has 
i  gradually  discredited  marriage  by  purchase.  This  was  at  first 
'  replaced  by  the  custom  of  giving  wedding  presents  to  the  bride; 

afterward  the  opposite  custom  was  introduced  of   the  bride 

bringing  her  dot  to  the  bridegroom. 
[      A  singular  transition  between  these  two  systems  is  constituted 
;  by  simulated  purchase,  in  which  the  bridegroom  offers  presents 
:  to  the  bride's  parents,  which  are  afterward  returned  to  him. 


172  THE  SEXUAL   QUESTION 

Among  certain  savages  the  bride's  parents  return  the  purchase 
money  of  their  daughter  to  the  bridegroom  in  another  form.  ^ 
Such  restitution  was  often  the  origin  of  the  dot. 

Among  the  Romans  the  dot  became  the  property  of  the  hus- 
band, and  from  this  is  derived  the  modern  custom  which  usually 
gives  the  husband  the  right  to  administer  his  wife's  dot,  which 
remains  the  property  of  the  "^"ife  and  her  family. 

Among  the  ]\Iexicans,  where  divorce  for  conjugal  discord  is 
frequent,  and  among  certain  Mahometans,  di\dsion  of  property 
exists  in  marriage,  and  the  wife's  property  is  returned  to  her 
when  she  is  separated  or  divorced. 

In  Europe  at  the  present  time,  especially  under  the  influence 
of  French  customs,  there  is  established  a  kind  of  marriage  by 
inverse  purchase   (which  already  existed  among  the  Greeks), 
in  the  sense  that  the  parents  of  young  girls  obtain  husbands  for 
them  by  means  of  a  large  dot.    Westermark  concludes  this  sub- 
ject with  the  following  words:   "If  she  does  not  possess  special 
personal  attractions,  a  young  girl  without  a  dot,  at  the  present 
day,  runs  a  great  chance  of  not  getting  married.     Tliis  state  of 
things  is  quite  naturally  developed  in  a  society  where  monog-  I 
amy  is  legally  enforced;    where  women   are   more  numerous  ' 
than  men;   where  many  men  never  marr}^,  and  where  married  ' 
women  too  often  lead  a  life  of  idleness."     If  we  add  to  this:  • 
"in  a  society  where  Mammon  rules  as  absolute  master,"  the  i 
picture  will  not  be  wanting  in  accuracy.  j 

I 

NUPTIAL   CUSTOMS   AND    CEREMONIES 

In  primitive  races  where  the  vnie  is  simply  bought  like  mer- 
chandise, often  after  mutual  agi*eement,  nuptial  ceremonies  do  ' 
not  exist.  They  generally  originate  later  from  the  sjmibols  of 
a  form  of  marriage  since  abandoned.  The  ceremony  being  con- 
cluded and  the  marriage  recognized  as  legal,  it  is  followed  by 
feasting.  Certain  religious  ceremonies  are  generally  combined 
with  marriage.  The  customs  of  our  modern  marriages  arise 
from  the  same  source.  At  the  time  of  early  Cliristianity  there 
were  no  religious  ceremonies  and  even  up  till  the  year  1563,  the 
date  of  the  end  of  the  Council  of  Trent,  religious  benediction  of 
marriage  was  not  obligatorJ^     Luther  held  that  marriage  should 


t 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  173 

DG  purely  civil^  but  legal  civil  marriage  was  only  introduced  among 
IS  by  the  French  Revolution,  while  it  had  existed  in  remote  times 
imong  the  Peruvians,  Nicaraguans  and  others.  Among  certain 
:-aces,  marriages  concluded  without  dot,  without  ceremony,  or 
ivithout  purchase,  and  even  those  between  different  castes,  are 
Dften  regarded  as  concubinage. 


FORMS    OF   MARRIAGE 

Leaving  aside  hermaphrodites,  such  as  the  snails,  in  which  each 
individual  has  both  kinds  of  sexual  organs  and  plays  the  part  of 
both  male  and  female,  there  are  among  animals  with  separate 
Isexes  five  forms  of  conjugal  union: 

I  (1).  Temporary  or  perpetual  monogamy,  or  marriage  between 
one  individual  of  one  sex  and  one  of  the  other  sex.  This  is  the 
case  with  most  birds  and  mammals  and  many  races  of  man. 

(2).  Polygymy  or  polygamy,  or  the  marriage  of  one  male  with 
several  females.  This  occurs  in  ruminants,  stags,  fowls,  and 
other  animals,  as  well  as  in  some  human  beings;  for  example, 
the  Islamites,  negroes,  American  Indians,  Mormons,  etc. 

(3).  Polyandry,  or  the  marriage  of  one  female  with  several 
I  males.  This  is  met  with  chiefly  in  the  ants,  in  which  each 
j female  is  generally  fecundated  successively  by  several  males. 
In  most  of  the  higher  animals,  the  jealousy  of  the  males  renders 
polyandry  impossible.  In  man  it  is  rare  but  exists  among  cer- 
tain races. 

;  (4).  Marriage  in  groups,  or  marriage  between  several  males 
land  several  females.  This  singular  custom  is  rare  but  exists  in 
ithe  Togas,  a  tribe  of  savages.  I  am  not  aware  of  its  existence 
I  among  animals. 

(5).  Promiscuity,  or  free  sexual  intercourse  between  males 
iand  females.  This  occurs  in  many  animals,  especially  in  the 
lower  animals  in  which  the  sexual  instinct  of  the  male  is  not 
associated  with  any  regard  for  the  female  or  the  progeny. 
Promiscuity  is  still  more  natural  when  the  female  does  not  look 
1  after  her  young  after  she  has  laid  her  eggs.  Nevertheless,  in 
most  animals  the  female  limits  herself  to  sexual  intercourse 
before  each  brood,  so  that  real  promiscuity  is  not  so  frequent  as 


174  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION  . 

would  at  first  appear.  In  man,  on  the  contrary,  it  attains  its'^ 
apogee  in  prostitution,  which  is  the  only  absolutely  complete 
form  of  promiscuity.  But  the  result  of  prostitution  as  regards' 
the  preservation  of  the  species,  which  is  the  proper  object  of  all 
sexual  union,  is  absolutely  destructive. 

Polygamy  or  polygjmiy  were  licit  among  most  ancient  races, 
and  is  so  still  among  most  savages  and  among  many  civilized 
nations;   but  it  has  several  varieties. 

In  Mexico,  Peru,  Japan  and  China  a  man  only  possesses  one 
legitimate  wife,  but  has  several  concubines  whose  children  are 
considered  as  legitimate  as  those  of  his  wife.  Polygamy  existed 
legally  among  the  Jews  up  to  the  Middle  Ages.  King  Solomon 
possessed  seven  hundred  wives  and  three  hundred  concubines. 
In  Islamite  countries  the  Jew^s  are  still  polygamous.  The  Korani 
allow^s  them  four  wives  and  as  many  concubines  as  they  please. 
The  latter  do  not  enjoy  the  protection  of  their  father,  but  apart 
from  this  they  have  the  same  rights  as  the  legitimate  wives.: 
The  Hindus  and  Persians  are  polygamous.  The  Romans  were 
strictly  monogamous,  but  they  also  had  concubines. 

In  Chiistian  Europe,  polygamy  has  occasionally  been  allowed 
or  tolerated:  St.  Augustus  did  not  condemn  it.  Luther  allowed 
Philip  of  Hesse  to  marry  two  wives;  and  after  the  treaty  of' 
Westphalia  bigamy  was  allowed  because  of  the  depopulation 
of  Germany.  The  mistresses  of  the  present  princes  are  a  relic 
of  polygamy.  Jesus  having  said  nothing  concerning  polygamy, 
Luther  did  not  prohibit  it. 

The  Mormons  have  introduced  it  into  their  religion.  The' 
negro  king  of  Loango  shows  us  wiiat  degree  polygamy  may 
reach  among  princes  and  chiefs,  for  he  possesses  seven  thousand 
wives,  while  the  chiefs  of  the  Fiji  Islands  are  content  with  twenty 
to  one  hundred. 

Among  savage  races  we  find  monogamy  in  the  natives  of  the 
Andaman  islands,  among  the  Touaregs,  the  Weddas,  the  Iro- 
quois, the  Wyandottes,  and  even  in  some  Australian  tribes. 
With  others,  polygamy  is  only  permitted  to  the  chiefs.  But 
most  of  the  population  are  monogamous  even  among  polyga- 
mous races,  and  there  are  very  few  peoples  in  wiiich  all  the  men 
possess  several  wives.     In  India,  95  per  cent,  of  the  Islamites 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  175 

are  monogamous,  and  in  Persia  even  98  per  cent.     Polygamy  is 
nearly  everywhere  a  privilege  of  princes,  chiefs,  and  rich  men. 

The  two  following  facts  also  show  a  tendency  to  monogamy 
among  polygamous  races: 

(1).  One  of  the  wives,  generally  the  first,  has  prerogatives 
over  the  others. 

(2).  In  reality,  the  polygamous  man  nearly  always  gives  sex- 
ual preference  to  one  only,  or  to  a  few  of  his  wives.     There  are, 
however,  some  polygamous  races  in  which  the  husband  has 
sexual  intercourse  with  each  of  his  wives  according  to  a  regular 
programme,  taking  each  of  them  in  turn  for  several  days,  weeks 
,  or  months.     With  others,  on  the  contrary,  a  number  of  married 
women  remain  in  reality  virgins,  because  the  husband  does  not 
desire  them,  and  they  are  nothing  more  than  domestics.     Among 
i  these  people  the  husband  as  a  rule  only  takes  a  second  wife 
Iwhen  the  first  has  grown  old,  so  that  bigamy  becomes  the  ordi- 
inary  form  of  marriage. 

'     The  Cingalese  were  polyandrous  before  the  EngHsh  conquest, 
and  so  many  as  seven  men  had  one  wife  in  common.     Polyandry 
is  especially  the  custom  in  Thibet.    Among  polyandrous  peo- 
,'  pies  the  husbands  are  not  all  on  the  same  footing  of  equality, 
j  some  hold  an  inferior  position,  corresponding  nearly  to  that  of 
1  concubines,  another  sign  of  the  tendency  to  monogamy. 
i     Among  the  Togas  marriage  in  groups  is  constituted  as  fol- 
lows:  All  the  brothers  are  husbands  of  the  wife  of  the  elder 
brother,  and  all  the  sisters  of  this  wife  are  at  the  same  time 
\  wives  of  their  brothers-in-law.     If  we  except  prostitution,  this 
;  is  the  only  case  in  man  which  approaches  promiscuity.     Mar- 
;  riage  in  groups,  however,  is  extremely  restricted  promiscuity. 
To  resume,  monogamy  is  by  far  the  most  widespread  form  of 
marriage.    This  is  explained  by.  the  relative  number  of  men  to 
!  women.     It  has  often  been  stated  that  the  number  of  individuals 
'  of  the  two  sexes  is  nearly  the  same,  and  this  has  been  used  as  an 
.  argument  in  favor  of  monogamy.     But  this  statement  is  incor- 
f  rect;  sometimes  it  is  the  men,  but  more  often  the  women,  who 
■predominate.    Among  the  natives  of  Oregon  there  are  seven 
:  hundred  men  to  eleven  hundred  and  eighty-five  women.    Among 
f  the  Punkas  and  other  races  the  number  of  women  is  two  or  three 


176  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

times  greater  than  that  of  the  men.  In  Kotcha-Hamba  there  is  I" 
only  one  man  to  five  women.  Among  other  races  there  are,  on 
the  contrary,  more  men  than  women,  especially  in  Australia, 
Tasmania,  and  Hayti.  In  the  latter  island  there  is  only  one 
woman  to  five  men.  In  Cashmere  there  are  three  men  to  one 
woman.  Among  the  negroes,  on  the  contrary,  the  women  pre-  ' 
dominate,  sometimes  in  the  proportion  of  three  to  one,  but  more 
generally  as  three  to  two. 

In  Europe,  more  boys  than  girls  are  born  on  the  average,  but 
from  the  age  of  fifteen  to  twenty  the  numbers  become  equal,  i 
and  after  twenty  the  women  predominate.  This  is  due  to  the  ' 
greater  mortality  among  men,  owing  to  war,  the  greater  danger 
of  masculine  occupations,  and  also  to  alcoholism.  In  the  fifteen  j 
largest  towns  in  Switzerland  alcoholism  is  the  direct  or  indirect ' 
cause  of  death  in  10.5  per  cent,  of  men  above  the  age  of  twenty. 

Among  savages  the  women  often  take  part  in  war,  for  instance 
the  Amazons  of  Dahomey.     Drinking  habits  are  also  the  same  ' 
or  absent  in  both  sexes,  which  equalizes  matters.    WTien  the 
men  predominate  in  these  people,  this  is  often  due  to  infanticide 
committed  on  young  girls,  and  also  to  overwork  of  the  women. 
With  the  Cingalese  the  natality  of  boys  is  greater  than  that  of 
girls,  while  in  Asia  Minor  two  girls,  in  Ai-abia  even  four  girls,  ^ 
are  born  to  one  boy.    The  Arab  says,  "Allah  has  given  us  more  ' 
women  than  men;    it  is,  therefore,  clear  that  polygamy  is  a 
di\'ine  commandment." 

Production  of  Sexes  at  Will. — I  will  say  a  few  words  on  the 
question  of  the  causes  of  production  of  the  sexes.  There  is  no 
want  of  hypotheses,  assertions,  nor  even  of  experiments  on  this 
subject;  but,  we  are  obliged  to  admit  that  up  to  the  present 
we  know  nothing  certain.  No  one  has  yet  succeeded  in  pro- 
ducing experimentally  in  animals  males  or  females  at  will. 
According  to  one  theory,  which  has  created  much  impression, 
overfeeding  produces  females  and  underfeeding  males.  Although 
this  appears  to  be  true  in  certain  cases  among  some  animals, 
it  is  in  no  way  proved  in  a  positive  manner. 

It  has  also  been  suggested  that  selection  produces  the  sex 
which  is  deficient  in  numbers;  but  here  again  proofs  are  want- 
ing.    It   has  been  maintained   that  crossing  tends  to  breed 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY   OF   SEXUAL  LIFE  177 

females,  while  consanguineous  marriages  produce  males;  in 
:  other  words,  that  mongrel  races  show  an  excess  of  female  births, 
[while  races  in  which  marriages  are  very  consanguineous,  and 
polyandrous  tribes  show  an  excess  of  males.  It  is  much  better 
;to  leave  this  question  alone  till  science  has  furnished  us  with 
[Conclusive  proofs.  Certain  results  obtained  with  the  lower  ani- 
mals give  hope  that  the  future  may  shed  some  light  on  this 
I  point. 

;  Again,  marriage  customs  are  not  always  in  relation  to  the 
i  excess  of  one  of  the  sexes.  Races  in  which  men  predominate 
are  not  always  polyandrous,  and  those  in  which  women  are  in 
excess  are  not  always  polygamous;  sometimes  even  the  con- 
trary exists.  Polygamy  is  thus  not  always  due  to  a  surplus  of 
female  births,  or  to  the  death  of  many  men,  but  often  to  religious 
'prescripts,  as  among  the  Islamites  and  Mormons.  In  polyandry, 
poverty  often  plays  a  greater  part  than  consanguineous  mar- 
riages or  surplus  of  male  births.  Religious  prescription  of  the 
.husband's  continence  during  his  wife's  menstrual  periods,  preg- 
;nancy,  and  even  the  period  of  nursing,  a  period  which  often 
lasts  from  two  to  four  years  in  savages,  is  an  important  cause  of 
polyandry.  At  Sierra  Leone,  coitus  of  the  husband  with  his 
[Wife  before  the  last-born  child  can  walk  is  regarded  as  a  crime. 
Although  very  advantageous  to  the  wife's  health  this  custom 
is  entirely  based  on  religious  ideas  and  superstitions.  Many 
savages  consider  that  every  woman  is  impure  and  bewitched 
I  during  her  monthly  periods,  during  pregnancy  and  suckling. 
jif  we  add  to  this  the  fact  that,  being  usually  treated  as  beasts, 
I  the  women  soon  gi'ow  old,  we  can  easily  understand  that  the 
;men  are  inclined  to  polygamy.  It  is  remarkable  with  what 
;  rapidity  the  savage  woman  grows  old.  She  is  only  fresh  from 
'thirteen  to  twenty  years;  after  twenty-five  she  is  old  and  sterile, 
and  a  little  later  she  has  the  aspect  of  an  old  sorceress.  This 
i  premature  senility  is  not  so  much  due  to  early  sexual  intercourse 
'  as  to  the  terribly  hard  work  they  undergo,  and  also  to  the  pro- 
longed period  of  suckling. 

i  Another  cause  of  polygamy  is  man's  natural  desire  for  change. 
J  The  negroes  of  Angola  exchange  wives.  The  instinct  of  pro- 
j  creation,  love  of  glory  and  riches  cooperate  with  the  sterility 


178  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

of  many  women  in  propagating  polygamy.  Certain  races  only 
tolerate  it  when  the  woman  is  sterile,  or  has  only  daughters, 
which  clearly  proves  that  it  is  based  on  the  fear  of  remaining 
without  male  descendants. 

On  the  whole,  savage  women  are  less  fecund  than  civilized, 
owing  to  their  long  continence  during  the  two  or  four  years 
nursing  of  each  child.  If  we  add  to  this  the  high  infant  mortality, 
we  can  understand  how  polygamy  becomes  among  these  people 
a  means  of  reproduction  in  the  struggle  for  existence,  and  even 
in  African  races  a  natural  law.  A  native  of  Central  Africa  may 
have  a  hundred  wives,  who  also  act  as  servants  and  retainers. 
In  this  case  polygamy  is  the  expression  of  pomp  and  wealth.  It 
is  especially  developed  in  agricultural  peoples  owing  to  the  value 
of  the  woman's  labor.  On  the  other  hand  it  is  impossible  among 
nomadic  tribes.  In  Dahomey  the  king  had  thousands  of  wives, 
the  nobility  hundreds,  the  simple  citizen  a  dozen  and  the  soldier 
none  at  all. 

Jealousy  and  rivalry  among  the  wives  is  not  always  the  rule 
in  polygamous  families.  In  equatorial  Africa  the  wives  them- 
selves incline  to  polygamy  and  regard  a  rich  man  who  restricts 
the  number  of  his  wives  as  miserly.  Livingstone  relates  that 
the  women  of  Makololo  declared  they  would  not  live  in  mo- 
nogamous England,  for  any  respectable  man  should  prove  his 
wealth  by  the  number  of  his  wives.  We  must  not  forget  that 
among  most  savages  the  moral  conception  of  good  and  evil  are 
confounded  with  that  of  riches  and  poverty.  In  reality,  the 
supernumerary  wives  bought  by  a  polygamist  are  simply  slaves. 
His  power  and  authority  do  not  easily  allow  jealousy  among 
them;  nevertheless  suicide  sometimes  occurs  among  the  old 
wives  who  have  been  passed  over  in  favor  of  younger  ones. 
Sometimes  they  kill  their  children  at  the  same  time.  Among 
the  Indians  of  Terra  del  Fuego  a  hut  containing  three  or  four 
women  often  resembles  a  battlefield.  We  have  already  pointed 
out  the  way  in  which  jealous  Fiji  women  cut  off  the  noses  of 
their  rivals.  Among  the  Islamites  and  Hindus  intrigue  and 
jealousy  are  common  with  the  women;  the  same  in  Abyssinia, 
among  the  Hovas  of  Madagascar  and  the  Zulus.  The  Hova 
term  for  polygamy  is  rafy,  which  signifies  adversary.    To  pre- 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  179 

vent  the  jealousy  of  his  wives  the  polygamous  man  often  places 
them  in  separate  houses;  this  is  common  among  the  South 
American  Indians. 

In  Colombia  I  made  the  acquaintance  of  a  French  explorer, 
Le  Comte  de  Brettes,  who  has  studied  closely  the  Goajires  In- 
dians by  becoming  himself  a  member  of  the  tribe.  The  country 
of  the  Goajires  is  a  peninsula  of  Colombia  bordering  on  Vene- 
zuela. Polygamy  among  these  people  is  very  interesting. 
When  a  young  Goajire  wishes  to  marry  he  has  to  pay  the  bride's 
parents  a  number  of  cattle,  but  the  consent  of  the  bride  is  nec- 
essary. Besides  this  the  husband  has  to  clear  a  certain  area 
of  forest,  plant  vegetables  and  build  a  hut.  He  must  then 
make  a  present  of  all  this  to  his  wife  and  add  to  it  the  necessary 
cattle.  The  wife  thus  becomes  the  legal  proprietor  of  the  house 
and  land,  and  it  is  she  who  rules  over  the  domain.  The  hus- 
band only  has  authority  over  the  male  children;  but  the  wife  is 
strictly  enforced  to  be  faithful.  If  he  wishes  to  marry  a  second 
wife,  he  is  obliged  to  buy  her  also  and  present  her  with  similar 
property  as  the  first,  in  another  district.  The  two  wives  can 
never  dwell  together  in  the  same  house  nor  in  the  same  district ; 
each  of  them  is  thus  a  proprietor  on  her  own  account.  In  this 
manner  the  different  wives  of  a  Goajire  are  not  only  independ- 
ent, but  separated  from  each  other  and  have  no  communication; 
this  excludes  all  jealousy,  especially  as  these  women  have  a  deep 
respect  for  the  laws  of  their  country.  Under  such  conditions 
polygamy  can  hardly  extend  to  more  than  two  women  without 
,  exhausting  the  forces  a  man  requires  to  cultivate  each  of  the 
[domains.  We  thus  see  that  certain  forms  of  polygamy,  com- 
bined with  matriarchism,  are  compatible  with  high  social  position 
iOf  the  wife,  for  among  the  Goajires  and  other  Indian  tribes  the 
man  passes  from  one  wife  to  the  other,  while  it  is  the  wife  who 
-is  mistress  of  the  house,  the  children  and  the  domain. 
I  However,  we  may  say  that  on  the  whole  monogamy  reigns 
where  there  is  more  altruism,  respect  for  women  and  sentiment 
[for  family  life;  for  instance,  in  Nicaragua,  among  the  Dyaks, 
'the  Andamanese,  etc.,  in  whom  the  wife  is  highly  esteemed  and 
I  possesses  political  influence.  The  wife  is  also  proprietor  of  the 
1  house  among  the  Santalese  and  Mounda-Kols. 


180  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

In  the  question  we  are  considering  the  nature  of  the  amorous 
passions  also  plays  a  great  part.  When  they  are  purely  sensual 
they  do  not  last  long  as  a  rule;  but  when  love  arises  from  mental 
affinities  it  may  be  prolonged  till  old  age.  Bain  remarks  that 
other  passions,  such  as  maternal  love,  hatred,  the  desire  of 
domination  may  be  extended  to  many  objects,  while  love  has 
a  tendency  to  concentrate  itself  on  a  single  one  which  then 
takes  preeminence  over  the  others  and  tends  to  monogamy. 
We  have  seen  that  birds  and  monkeys  generally  love  only  one 
female.  With  some  conjugal  love  is  so  strong  that  one  of  the 
conjoints  cannot  survive  the  other;  this  fact  has  been  observed 
with  certainty,  even  when  the  survivor  was  provided  with  an- 
other mate.  Thus,  the  male  of  a  certain  species  of  monkey 
{Hapale  jacchus)  after  the  death  of  his  mate,  covers  his  eyes  with 
his  hands,  ceases  to  eat  and  remains  in  the  same  position  till  he 
dies.  Suicide  for  love  is  not  rare  among  certain  savage  races; 
a  point  to  which  we  shall  return  later. 

Westermark  is  certainly  right  in  considering  this  tendency  of 
love  to  concentrate  itself  on  a  single  object  as  one  of  the  most 
powerful  factors  in  monogamy.  Jealousy  is  no  doubt  the  re- 
verse of  such  sentiment,  but  is  the  profound  despair  at  seeing 
the  sole  object  of  love  desert  or  become  unfaithful.  On  the 
other  hand,  this  concentration  of  love,  which  may  be  excellent 
for  isolated  families  living  alone  after  the  manner  of  wild  beasts, 
is  in  no  way  adapted  to  a  society  of  which  all  the  members  are 
responsible.  This  is  a  point  we  must  insist  upon.  There  is  cer- 
tainly a  real  antinomy  which  is  difficult  to  reconcile  between 
this  dual  egoism  of  exclusive  and  concentrated  love  and  social 
solidarity  or  human  altruism.  The  problem  is  not  insoluble, 
but  we  must  admit  that  the  solution  is  not  easy. 

To  resume,  we  first  of  all  observe  an  evolution  from  mo- 
nogamy toward  polygamy.  The  higher  apes  and  the  most 
primitive  men  are  monogamous;  among  these  there  are  no 
differences  of  rank,  nor  class  distinctions,  and  they  live  in  very 
small  groups.  Wealth,  civilization,  larger  communities,  agri- 
culture and  the  domination  of  castes  have  gradually  given  rise 
to  polygamy.  Thus,  the  ancient  Hindus  were  at  first  mo- 
nogamous and  later  on  became  polygamous.     The  prerogative 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  181 

of  the  first  wife  over  the  others  is  only  a  vestige  of  monogamy 
in  polygamy. 

A  higher  degree  of  culture  then  diminishes  warfare,  shortens 
the  period  of  nursing,  does  away  with  the  prejudices  against 
coitus  during  pregnancy,  and  improves  the  social  position  of 
women.  Ageing  less  quickly,  and  adding  to  her  bodily  charms 
those  of  her  mental  development  woman  restores  man  to  mo- 
nogamy. As  the  same  time  wives  and  children  gradually  cease 
to  constitute  riches,  and  this  diminishes  the  instinct  of  procre- 
ation. Finally,  machinery  replaces  the  female  labor  of  former 
times.  In  this  way,  with  a  higher  degree  of  human  culture,  all 
the  factors  tend  to  restore  monogamy. 

The  instinctive  desires  of  woman  are  monogamous.  The 
progress  of  civilization  is  continually  extending  her  rights,  and 
the  more  refined  sentiments  of  sympathy  among  civilized  people 
are  less  and  less  compatible  with  polygamy.  As  regards  poly- 
andry, Westermark  shows  that  it  has  always  been  an  exception 
;  and  that  it  has  only  been  established  among  phlegmatic  races, 
I  having  a  certain  degree  of  civilization  and  being  unacquainted 
with  jealousy. 

Spencer  believes  that  monogamy  will  prevail  in  the  future, 

while  Lubbock  inclines  to  polygamy.    Westermark  thinks  that 

if  the  progress  of  civilization  continues  as  hitherto  to  become 

more  altruistic,  and  that  if  love  tends  to  become  more  refined, 

the  conjoints  having  more  and  more  regard  for  each  other, 

monogamy  will  always  become  more  strict. 

!      For  my  part,  I  think  it  idle  to  prophesy.     If  mental  culture 

!  ever  succeeds  in  overcoming  brutality  and  barbarism,  and  if  it 

'  continues  to  make  real  progress,  I  do  not  think  that  any  of  the 

'  old  systems  of  marriage  will  persist  in  their  primary  form. 

Primitive  monogamy  adapted  to  an  unsocial  savage  condition, 

'  is  incompatible  with   the  social  requirements  which  become 

more  and  more  imposed  upon  humanity.     Marriage  by  pur- 

:  chase  and  Islamite  polygamy,  which  regard  woman  as  mer- 

1  chandise  and  place  her  entirely  under  the  dependence  of  man, 

I  are  barbarous  customs  of  semi-civilized  people,   which  have 

;  already  fallen  into  disuse.     Polyandry  is  contrary  to  human 

i  nature  and  to  the  requirements  of  reproduction,  and  its  implanta- 


182  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

tion  is  everywhere  a  sign  of  decadence.  Our  present  religious 
monogamy,  completed  by  the  shameful  promiscuity  of  prosti- 
tution, is  both  hypocritical  and  unhealthy.  Till  the  contrary 
is  proved,  I  consider  the  most  advantageous  form  of  marriage 
for  the  future  a  kind  of  free  monogamy  (eventually  polygamy), 
accompanied  by  obligations  relative  to  the  procreation  of  chil- 
dren and  to  the  children  procreated.  Polyandry  should  only 
have  an  accessory  right  to  existence  in  certain  pathological  or 
exceptional  cases.    We  shall  return  to  this  point  later. 

DURATION  OF   MARRIAGE 

Among  birds,  marriage  is  generally  concluded  for  life;  among 
mammals  rarely  for  more  than  a  year,  with  the  exception  of  the 
anthropoid  apes  and  man. 

The  duration  of  marriage  varies  enormously  in  man.  Among 
the  Andamanese,  the  Weddas,  certain  Papous,  marriage  can 
only  cease  with  death.  Among  the  North  American  Indians,  on 
the  contrary,  it  is  only  concluded  for  a  limited  period.  Among 
the  Wyandot  tes  the  custom  exists  of  trial  marriages  for  several 
days.  In  Greenland,  divorce  often  takes  place  at  the  end  of 
six  months.  Among  the  Creeks  marriage  does  not  last  more 
than  a  year.  In  this  way  is  constituted  a  kind  of  polygamy  by 
succession  or  limited  monogamy,  which  results  in  the  father  not 
knowing  his  children. 

Among  the  Botocudos,  marriage  is  performed,  without  cere- 
monies and  only  lasts  a  short  time;  it  can  be  broken  off  on  the 
slightest  pretext,  for  the  pleasure  of  changing;  divorce  then 
becomes  as  frequent  as  marriage.  This  is  also  the  case  in 
Queensland,  Tasmania  and  the  Samoan  islands.  Among  the 
Dyaks  and  Cingalese,  quite  young  men  and  women  have  already 
had  several  wives  or  husbands;  a  man  often  marries  and  deserts 
the  same  woman  several  times,  to  take  others  during  the  inter- 
vals. Among  the  Mantras  there  are  men  who  have  been  mar- 
ried forty  or  fifty  times. 

In  Persia  a  woman  may  marry  for  periods  varying  from  one 
hour  to  ninety-nine  years.  In  Egypt  similar  customs  are  met 
with;  a  monthly  change  is  allowed,  so  that  a  man  may  marry 
twenty  or  thirty  times  in  two  years.    Among  the  Maues  of 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  183 

Sahara  the  women  consider  it  fashionable  to  marry  as  often  as 
possible,  and  a  long  married  life  is  considered  by  them  as  vulgar. 
The  Abyssinians,  negroes,  etc.,  marry  on  trial  or  for  limited 
periods.  Among  the  Greeks,  Romans  and  ancient  Germans, 
divorce  was  very  frequent. 

In  nearly  all  savage  tribes,  and  in  a  number  of  civilized  people 
the  man  possesses  an  unlimited  right  of  rejection.  The  Hovas 
compare  marriage  to  a  loosely  tied  knot.  Among  the  ancient 
Jews,  Romans,  Greeks  and  Germans,  discontent  of  the  husband 
was  a  sufficient  reason  for  rejection.  On  the  contrary,  among  a 
number  of  savage  races  (Westermark  mentions  about  twenty- 
five)  rejection  and  divorce  are  extremely  rare  and  marriage  lasts 
for  life. 

It  is  especially  where  there  are  children  that  divorce  is  rare. 
With  most  races,  sterility  of  the  wife  and  adultery  constitute 
the  principal  causes  of  legal  divorce. 

Among  civilized  races  marriage  for  life  is  much  more  common 
than  with  savages.  This  was  the  case  with  the  Aztecs,  etc. 
Among  the  Chinese  there  exist  seven  reasons  for  divorce:  ster- 
ility, unchastity,  negligence  toward  parents-in-law,  talkative- 
ness, desertion,  ill-temper  and  chronic  disease.  In  Japan  the 
laws  are  similar,  but  in  spite  of  this  divorce  is  rare  in  China 
and  Japan. 

In  Christian  countries  divorce  was  formerly  permitted  and 
was  only  prohibited  by  the  Council  of  Trent.  The  modern 
Catholic  says:  "Man  must  not  separate  what  God  has  united." 
Among  many  savages,  on  the  contrary,  divorce  is  left  to  the 
free  will  of  the  married  couple.  Elsewhere  it  is  sometimes  the 
man,  sometimes  both  husband  and  wife  who  have  the  right  to 
exact  divorce  for  divers  reasons,  such  as  drunkenness,  adultery, 
prodigality,  etc.  In  Europe,  as  elsewhere,  it  is  the  desire  for 
change  which  is  the  most  common  cause  of  divorce. 

Children  constitute  the  surest  cement  against  conjugal  sepa- 
rations. With  most  savages  the  rejected  wife  regains  not  only 
her  dot,  but  also  part  of  the  common  property,  or  even  the 
whole  of  it.  On  the  contrary,  the  purchase  value  of  the  wife  is 
only  as  a  rule  returned  to  the  husband  when  sterility,  adultery 
or  other  grave  reasons  are  the  causes  of  divorce.     It  results  from 


184  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

this  that  divorce  is  always  very  rare  among  peoples  where  the 
women  are  very  dear. 

The  right  of  the  children  after  divorce  varies  a  good  deal  in 
different  races;  sometimes  they  are  adjudged  to  the  husband, 
sometimes  to  the  wife.  Divorced  women  often  become  prosti- 
tutes, for  example,  among  the  Chinese  and  Arabs.  As  a  rule, 
marriages  for  love  are  more  lasting  than  others,  especially  when 
the  couple  were  acquainted  before  marriage. 

It  is  extremely  probable  that  in  primitive  man  marriage  only 
lasted  till  the  birth  of  a  child,  or  at  the  most  a  few  years.  With 
civilization  the  duration  of  marriage  has  been  prolonged,  higher 
motives  having  become  added  to  bodily  charms,  sexual  appetite 
and  the  instinct  of  procreation,  and  tending  toward  more  lasting 
unions. 

Moral  reasons  have  given  rise  to  laws  of  protection  in  mar- 
riage, but  the  mania  which  man  possesses  of  dogmatizing  on 
everything  has  often  caused  these  laws  to  degenerate  into  abuse 
or  religious  absurdities.  In  this  way  the  modern  form  of  our 
Christian  monogamy  has  been  imposed  by  a  tyrannical  dogma 
of  the  Roman  Church;  a  dogma  which  no  doubt  started  from 
an  ideal  point  of  view,  but  fell  into  disuse  in  practice,  owing  to 
the  fact  that  it  did  not  take  sufficient  account  of  the  natural 
conditions  and  sexual  requirements  of  the  race.  This  explains 
the  present  tendency  to  greater  legal  liberty,  even  when  the 
moral  causes  which  tend  to  render  monogamous  unions  durable 
multiply  with  the  progress  of  civilization. 

HISTORY   OF    EXTRA-CONJUGAL   SEXUAL   INTERCOURSE 

As  monogamous  marriage  exists  among  the  anthropoid  apes, 
we  have  every  reason  to  believe  that  it  existed  with  primitive 
man.  In  neither  case  has  it  been  the  result  of  artificial  laws, 
but  the  result  of  brute  force  and  congenital  instincts  inherited 
by  natural  evolution.  It  often  happened  that  one  male  van- 
quished another  and  took  possession  of  the  female,  or  wife,  of 
the  vanquished.  Others  abducted  the  female  by  surprise. 
Later  on,  marriage  by  exchange  or  by  purchase,  derived  from 
marriage  by  rape,  probably  constituted  the  first  stage  toward 
a  legal  monogamous  or  polygamous  union,  as  an  element  in  the 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  185 

most  primitive  human  conventional  organizations.  In  this  way 
we  can  imagine  the  main  points  of  the  prehistoric  evolution  of 
marriage. 

When  the  conception  of  marriage  took  on  a  legal  character, 
either  that  of  possession  by  the  male,  or  that  of  a  more  or  less 
equitable  contract  between  the  two  sexes,  we  can  easily  imagine 
that  sexual  intercourse  apart  from  marriage  resulted  as  an 
inevitable  complement.  Every  artificial  barrier  which  the  hu- 
man mind  opposes  to  natural  instincts  immediately  gives  rise 
to  a  movement  of  opposition  on  the  part  of  the  latter.  The 
matrimonial  laws  of  primitive  or  semi-civilized  races  punished 
adultery  in  the  most  barbarous  manner  by  torture  and  death, 
but  were  unable  to  prevent  the  sexual  passions  pursuing  their 
course  in  one  way  or  another. 

Certain  abuses  or  exceptions  had,  therefore,  to  be  tolerated, 
or  certain  complementary  institutions  had  to  be  organized. 
However,  these  laws  generally  branded  all  forms  of  sexual  inter- 
course apart  from  marriage,  with  the  stigma  of  inferiority,  or 
contempt,  if  not  of  crime.  The  woman,  being  the  weaker,  was 
naturally  the  one  to  suffer  most  from  this  stigma  and  its 
consequences. 

The  great  diversity  in  the  customs  of  different  human  tribes, 
makes  it  necessary,  in  order  to  avoid  errors,  to  guard  against 
generalizing  without  strong  reasons.  We  cannot,  however,  here 
enter  into  details  which  would  lead  us  too  far.  We  can,  how- 
ever, affirm  that  among  the  lower  or  primitive  races  brute  force 
played  the  principal  role  and  was  the  fundamental  support  of 
marriage,  while  in  higher  civilizations  legal  regulation  took  the 
upper  hand,  however  absurd  or  even  immoral  it  might  be. 

Illegal  or  extra-conjugal  forms  of  sexual  intercourse  have 
always  formed  two  principal  groups:  prostitution  and  concu- 
binage. No  doubt,  these  two  varieties  are  insensibly  connected 
by  numerous  shades  of  transition,  but  as  their  development 
depends  on  different  principles  we  must  distinguish  these  two 
forms. 

Prostitution  is  a  trade  in  which  a  human  being  sells  her  body 
for  money,  while  concubinage  consists  in  more  or  less  free  sexual 
intercourse  apart  from  marriage,  the  motive  of  which  is  simply 


186  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

the  sexual  appetite,  convenience  or  love,  although  sometimes 
violence  plays  a  part  in  it.  We  therefore  find  in  extra-marital 
sexual  intercourse  the  same  motives  as  in  legal  unions;  legal  or 
religious  sanction  only  is  wanting. 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  the  motives  which  lead  to  concu- 
binage may  be  more  or  less  tainted  by  interested  calculation. 
In  all  civilizations  concubinage  and  prostitution  constitute  the 
complement  of  legal  marriage.  Their  regulation  has  ever  pro- 
duced the  singular  results  of  surrounding  them  with  a  moral 
nimbus. 

In  Babylon,  every  woman  once  in  her  life,  had  to  prostitute 
herself  for  money  to  any  stranger  at  the  temple  of  Venus. 
Solon  founded  houses  of  prostitution  for  the  people  and  fur- 
nished them  with  slaves,  "in  order  to  protect  the  sanctity  of 
marriage  against  the  passions  of  youth." 

The  Romans  had  also  their  houses  of  prostitution  or  lupanari, 
public  or  private,  as  well  as  free  prostitutes.  In  the  Middle 
Ages,  prostitution  developed  especially  after  the  Crusades.  It 
is  related  that  the  Council  of  Constance  attracted  fifteen  hun- 
dred prostitutes  to  this  town.  Prostitutes  followed  the  armies 
everywhere. 

In  India,  young  girls  give  themselves  to  the  priests,  who  are 
the  representatives  of  God  and  enjoy  great  honors.  Under  the 
name  of  Temple  girls,  the  girls  of  the  flower  boats  of  China  are 
really  prostitutes.  It  is  the  same  with  the  puzes  of  Java,  the 
girls  in  the  Japanese  tea-houses,  etc.  In  some  civilized  states, 
certain  refined  and  intelligent  prostitutes  have  always  obtained 
great  honors  and  high  favors,  only  charging  high  prices,  and  end- 
ing by  substituting  for  prostitution  the  pecuniary  exploitation 
of  rich  men  whom  they  have  seduced. 

Concubinage  may  be  more  or  less  free.  The  concubines  were 
formerly  often  slaves,  possessed  by  men  in  high  positions,  in 
addition  to  their  wives.  At  the  present  day  the  omnipotence 
of  money  produces  almost  analogous  results.  Free  concubinage, 
in  which  sexual  intercourse  between  the  two  contracting  parties 
is  absolutely  free  and  more  or  less  independent  of  pecuniary 
questions,  is  very  different  and  of  a  higher  moral  character.  It 
has  also  existed  in  antiquity  in  various  forms.     The  Greek 


ETHNOLOGY  AND  HISTORY  OF   SEXUAL  LIFE  187 

hetairas  were  concubines  of  high  position,  no  doubt  prostitutes 
of  a  kind  and  giving  themselves  for  money;  but  they  became 
the  friends  or  companions  of  great  men.  Living  in  luxury, 
especially  at  the  time  of  Pericles  and  later,  several  of  them  be- 
came celebrated;  statues  were  raised  to  them  and  they  became 
the  concubines  of  kings.  Phryne  served  as  the  model  for  the 
statue  of  Venus,  and  offered  to  restore  the  halls  of  the  Thebeans 
at  her  own  expense.  Thais  was  the  mistress  of  Alexander  and 
gave  heirs  to  the  throne.  The  neglected  education  of  the  Greek 
wives  caused  the  intellectual  accomplishments  of  the  hetairas 
to  shine  by  contrast. 

The  whole  question  regarding  the  Greek  customs  is  summed 
up  in  a  few  words  by  Demosthenes:  "We  marry  wives  in  order 
to  have  legitimate  children  and  a  faithful  guardian  for  our 
household;  we  have  concubines  for  our  daily  service,  and 
hetairas  for  the  enjoyment  of  love." 

In  some  countries,  such  as  Japan,  the  children  of  concubines 
are  considered  by  the  husbands  as  legitimate,  and  have  the 
same  rights  as  those  of  his  wife;  this  gives  concubinage  the 
character  of  marriage  of  the  second  rank. 

In  modern  times  hetairas  are  not  wanting.  Under  the  title 
of  courtesans  and  mistresses,  we  find  them  everywhere  as  the 
favorites  of  kings  and  nobles,  as  mistresses  of  men  in  high  posi- 
tions, and  often  playing  the  part  of  vampires  in  all  classes  of 
society. 

On  the  other  hand,  women  of  high  position  or  wealth  have 
also  their  favorites,  whom  we  may  call  male  hetairas.  Certain 
female  members  of  royal  families  have  at  all  times  furnished 
examples  of  this  kind. 

At  all  periods  in  the  history  of  civilized  races,  pathology  has 
also  led  to  extra-conjugal  sexual  intercourse.  Here,  homo- 
sexual love  in  general,  and  love  of  boys  or  pediastry,  has  always 
played  the  principal  part.  We  shall  speak  of  this  in  Chapter 
VIII.  Among  the  Hebrews,  Persians,  Etruscans,  and  especially 
the  Greeks,  it  was  held  in  high  esteem.  The  Greek  philosophers 
regarded  it  as  based  on  an  ideal  homosexual  love,  and  not  as  a 
vile  form  of  prostitution.  Solon,  Aristides,  Sophocles,  Phidias, 
and  Socrates  were  strongly  suspected  of  homosexual  practices, 


188  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

and  they  regarded  this  form  of  love  as  superior  to  the  normal 
love  of  woman.  Lesbian  love,  and  other  sexual  aberrations,  such 
as  sadism,  have  also  played  a  historical  role,  as  we  shall  see. 


CONCLUSIONS 

Primitive  human  marriage  was  probably  of  short  duration ; 
when  man  later  on  became  carnivorous,  and  had  to  obtain  food 
for  his  children  by  hunting,  sexual  unions  assumed  a  more  con- 
stant character.  It  is  not  the  class  or  the  tribe,  but  the  family 
which  constituted  the  primitive  social  condition  of  man,  a  con- 
dition in  which  marriage  was  a  heritage  from  "  pithecomorphous  " 
ancestors,  i.e.,  related  to  monkeys. 

Free  sexual  intercourse  before  marriage  and  frequent  changes 
in  the  latter  were  then  no  doubt  very  common,  but  true  pro- 
miscuity has  never  been  the  rule  in  primitive  man. 

Patriarchism  with  its  disastrous  consequences  has  been  the 
result  of  the  preponderance  of  male  power.  In  a  higher  degree 
of  civilization  this  preponderance  has  produced  marriage  by 
purchase  and  polygamy.  The  barbarous  form  of  the  latter  is 
now  decreasing. 

A  true  higher  culture  leads  gradually  to  durable  love  based 
on  altruism  and  ethics,  i.e.,  a  relative  and  free  monogamy. 

The  development  of  marriage  in  civilization  has  gradually 
increased  the  rights  of  woman,  and  marriage  contracts  tend 
more  and  more  in  their  modern  forms  to  stipulate  for  complete 
equality  of  rights  for  both  sexes.  As  Westermark  says:  "The 
history  of  human  marriage  is  the  history  of  a  union  in  which 
women  have  gradually  triumphed  over  the  passions,  prejudices 
and  egoism  of  men."  The  term  reemancipation  of  women  is 
historically  more  correct  than  the  simple  term  emancipation, 
for  before  the  institution  of  marriage,  woman  was  free.  In- 
vented by  the  stronger  male  when  he  began  to  reason,  marriage 
was  at  first  only  the  servitude  of  woman.  To  give  her  com- 
plete liberty,  it  must  be  transformed  afresh  from  top  to  bottom. 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY  OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  189 

APPENDIX 

Influence  of  the  Race  on  Sexual  Life. — If  I  were  an  ethnog- 
Irapher  I  should  attempt  to  estabUsh  whether,  and  in  what  way, 
racial  differences  affect  the  sexual  life  of  man;  but  the  question 
is  so  delicate  that  it  would  require  a  skilled  specialist  to  settle 
it.  With  the  exception  of  the  pages  dealing  with  the  history 
of  extra-conjugal  intercourse,  the  statements  in  this  chapter  are 
based  on  the  work  of  Westermark.  The  chief  difficulty  consists 
in  separating,  in  the  customs  of  each  race,  that  which  arises 
from  habit  and  historical  tradition  from  that  which  depends  on 
more  or  less  specific  hereditary  peculiarities.  It  is  here  very 
ieasy  to  fall  into  error  in  formulating  false  conclusions. 

A  good  deal  has  been  said  concerning  the  hot  blood  of  warm 
I  climates,  and  on  the  whole  it  appears  true  that  people  who 
;  inhabit  these  climates  have  a  more  violent  and  more  precocious 
1  sexual  temperament  than  those  who  live  in  cold  regions.     But 
jithis  is  not  a  racial  character.    The  Jews,  who  have  preserved 
;i  their  race  unaltered  in  all  climates  and  under  all  possible  con- 
ditions of  existence,  furnish  an  object  lesson  which  is  particu- 
larly appropriate  to  decide  the  question.    The  traits  of  their 
i  character  are  reflected  in  their  sexual  life.    Their  sexual  appe- 
I  tites  are  generally  strong  and  their  love  is  distinguished  by 
:  great  family  attachment.    Their  sexual  life  is  also  influenced 
,  by  their  mercantile  spirit,  and  we  find  them  everywhere  con- 
nected with  the  traffic  of  women  and  prostitution.     They  are 
j  not  very  jealous  and  are  much  addicted  to  concubinage,  at  the 
I  same  time  remaining  affectionate  to  their  wife  and  family. 
j     The  Mongols  also  lead  a  very  intense  sexual  life.    Among  the 
'  polyandrous  people  of  Thibet  jealousy  appears  to  be  completely 
absent :  this  may  be  the  result  of  custom  or  may  be  due  to  phy- 
1  logenetic   instinct.    The   Mormons,   who   are   descended   from 
'  monogamous  races,  confirm  the  idea  that  polygamy  is  not  a 
;  specific  racial  character.     It  would  be  interesting  to  study  the 
j  mixed  races  of  North  America  from  this  point  of  view.     At  first 
'  sight,  it  seems  that  the  Americanization  of  customs  in  the  mix- 
:  ture  of  races  of  the  United  States  is  also  extended  to  sexual 
;  life,  and  that  we  cannot  discover  the  fundamental  differences 


190  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

between  the  Irish,  Scandinavians,  French,  Germans  and  Italians 
who  constitute  this  mixture.  But  it  is  possible  that  this  is  only 
a  superficial  impression,  and  that  a  deeper  study  of  the  details 
would  lead  to  another  result.  One  thing  appears  to  be  unques- 
tionable in  the  negro  race;  that  is  the  violence  of  its  sexual 
passion  combined  with  its  mental  inferiority. 

A  striking  trait  is  furnished  by  the  French  race  which  has  re- 
mained pure  in  the  eastern  provinces  of  Canada,  whose  sexual 
customs  are  very  different  from  those  of  the  present  population 
of  France.  The  French  Canadian  is  extremely  pure  and  chaste, 
leads  a  regular  life  and  has  a  numerous  family.  Families  of 
fifteen  or  twenty  are  not  rare  among  French  Canadians.  We 
can  here,  therefore,  observe  the  effect  of  climate  and  custom  on 
a  single  race.  For  reasons  mentioned  above,  I  shall  content 
myself  with  a  few  remarks,  but  I  am  certain  that  a  profound 
study  of  the  question  would  discover,  in  the  character  of  the 
individuals,  specific  peculiarities  of  their  race  which  are  only 
marked  externally  by  customs.  It  is  obvious  that  such  charac- 
ters will  be  all  the  more  distinct,  the  more  the  race  differs  from 
its  congeners,  and  the  purer  its  ethnical  separation.  As  among 
animals,  it  is  necessary  to  distinguish  between  slight  variations, 
and  races  or  sub-species  which  are  more  constant  and  more  di- 
vergent. Hereditary  or  phylogenetic  individual  differences  must 
also  be  distinguished  from  those  of  races  or  varieties. 

Weight  of  the  Brain  in  Different  Races  and  Sexes. — Bebel 
has  stated  that  among  savages  the  difference  between  the  brain 
of  the  men  and  women  is  less  than  among  civilized  people.  This 
statement  is  quite  wrong.  Prof.  Rudolph  Martin,  of  Zurich, 
has  given  me  statistics  of  the  cranial  capacity  of  the  two  sexes 
in  different  races,  drawn  from  reliable  sources.  According  to 
Martin  the  weight  of  the  brain  represents  about  87  per  cent, 
of  the  cranial  capacity.  His  table  of  statistics  is  given  on  the 
opposite  page. 

These  figures  show  that  the  difference  between  the  two  sexes 
is  always  about  the  same,  while  the  average  absolute  weight  of 
the  brain  in  the  two  sexes  is  lower  in  the  lower  races.  Reckon- 
ing it  87  per  cent,  of  the  cranial  capacity,  it  is  in  the  Weddas 
1111  grammes  for  males  and  991  grammes  for  females,  which 


ETHNOLOGY  AND   HISTORY   OF  SEXUAL  LIFE  191 

corresponds  to  the  weight  of  the  brains  of  idiots  or  general  para- 
lytics with  us,  Martin  assures  me  that  in  the  Malay  peninsula 
he  has  found  as  much  difference  between  the  men  and  women 
as  in  Europeans. 

According  to  Martin,  men  living  at  the  present  day  may  be 
divided  into  three  classes  according  to  their  cranial  capacity: 

MEN.  WOMEN. 

Aristencephalous  (large  brains) over  1450  gr over  1300  gr. 

Euencephalous  (medium  brains) 1300  to  1450.    1150  to  1300. 

Oligencephalous  (small  brains) under  1300 under     1150. 


AVERAGE  CRANIAL  CAPACITY  IN  DIFFERENT  RACES 


1  Civilized 


Semi- 


Men       Women  Diffeeence 

183 


Badois        I    48  Craniums  m.  ^    ^^^3        ^33^ 

Bavarian   |  JJ^  '.'<  ™-  [    1503         1335         168  (11.2  %) 

Malay        ]    ^2  ''  7    [    ^'^^^        ^^^^        ^^^ 


Civilized   ]   j^^^  ^    87  ;;  m.  |    ^^^^         ^3^^         ^^^ 


64 


Wedd^af'  ]    ?0     "     ''  T  \    1277         1139         138  (10.8  %) 


CHAPTER   VII 

SEXUAL    EVOLUTION 

The  evolution  of  every  living  being  is  twofold.  We  must  dis- 
tinguish: (1)  its  ontogeny,  or  the  entire  cycle  "of  development  of 
the  individual  from  its  conception  till  natural  death  at  an  ad- 
vanced age;  (2)  its  phylogeny,  or  the  series  of  organic  forms 
through  which  its  ancestors  passed,  by  successive  transformar 
tions,  from  the  primitive  cells  of  the  oldest  and  most  obscure 
geological  periods,  up  to  its  present  organization. 

In  its  chief  outlines  ontogeny  is  determined  by  phylogeny  by 
means  of  the  laws  of  heredity,  even  when  it  is  only  an  abridged 
recapitulation. 

Regarded  from  this  point  of  view  the  sexual  life  of  man  is  also 
based  on  phylogenetic  conditions,  determined  by  his  ancestral 
lineage.  Moreover,  it  presents  an  individual  or  ontogenetic 
evolution  during  the  life  of  each  person,  which  in  its  principal 
traits  is  predetermined  in  the  germ,  by  the  phylogenetic  or 
hereditary  energies  of  the  species.  The  phenomena  of  the 
hereditary  mneme  show  clearly  how  ontogeny  is  the  result  of 
engraphia  combined  with  selection,  in  the  series  of  ancestors. 
We  have  already  mentioned  these  points  on  several  occasions, 
but  must  now  review  the  whole  question. 

PHYLOGENY    OF   SEXUAL    LIFE 

In  Chapter  II  we  have  briefly  described  phylogeny  in  general 
or  metamorphosis,  and  in  the  first  part  of  Chapter  IV  we  have 
specially  considered  the  phylogeny  of  the  sexual  appetite  in  the 
phenomenon  of  cell  division  and  conjugation  of  nuclei  in  unicel- 
lular organisms,  which  we  have  described  in  Chapter  I.  In 
order  for  animals  to  reproduce  themselves  without  degenerating, 
crossing,  or  the  combination  of  different  germs,  is  necessary, 
and  such  combinations  are  only  possible  by  the  mutual  attrac- 

192 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  193 

tion  of  two  kinds  of  germinal  cells.  But,  when  the  individual 
becomes  multicellular  and  bears  only  one  kind  of  germinal  cells, 
the  attractive  energy  which  was  originally  limited  to  these 
cells  is  transmitted  to  the  whole  organism,  and  this  necessitates 
the  existence  of  sensory  and  motor  nerve  centers. 

The  attraction  of  one  kind  of  germinal  cell  and  its  bearer  for 
the  other  must  also  be  more  or  less  mutual.     As  a  rule  the  bearer 
of  one  of  the  germinal  cells  becomes  active  and  penetrating; 
that  of  the  other  passive  and  receptive.     However,  the  latter, 
who  after  copulation  (when  this  occurs)  becomes  the  sole  bearer 
of  the  future  individual,  is  obliged  to  desire  union  with  the 
1  active  bearer  of  the  other  germinal  cell,  so  that  reproduction 
may  become  harmonious.    This  is  the  basis  on  which  is  founded 
I  sexual  reproduction,  and  with  it  the  sexual  appetite,  in  plants 
(as  regards  cellular  conjugation  only)  as  well  as  in  animals,  but 
;  especially  in  the  latter,  in  whom  the  germinal  cells  are  carried 
il  by  mobile  and  independent  individuals.     On  the  same  basis  is 
developed  the  difference  between  the  sexual  appetite  in  man 
and  woman,  as  well  as  that  between  love  and  the  other  irradia- 
tions of  this  appetite  in  the  mental  life  of  both  sexes.     (Vide 
Chapters  IV  and  V.) 
1       The  immense  complication  of  human  sexual  life  makes  us 
I   regard  animals  with  a  certain  degree  of  contempt,  and  flatter  our 
-   vanity  in  qualifying  the  baser  part  of  our  sexual  appetite  by  the 
term  animal  instinct.     But  we  are  really  very  unjust  toward 
animals.    This  injustice  is  partly  due  to  the  fact  that  vocal  and 
written  language  gives  us  a  means  of  penetrating  into  the  psy- 
chology of  our  fellow  creatures.     By  the  aid  of  the  common 
symbolism  of  our  thoughts  it  is  easy  for  us  to  compare  them. 
Language  thus  enables  us  to  construct  a  general  human  psy- 
chology.   The  absence  of  language,  even  in  the  higher  animals, 
renders  it  difficult  for  us  to  penetrate  their  mind.     Our  inductive 
reasoning  in  this  matter  is  very  uncertain,  for  we  can  only  judge 
the  mental  power  of  animals  by  their  acts.     The  brain,  and  con- 
sequently the  mind,  of  the  higher  mammals  being  less  highly 
organized  than  that  of  man,  their  sexual  psychology  is  also 
more  primitive,  and  differs  from  ours  in  proportion  to  the  cerebral 
development  of  the  species.    Comparative  anatomy  confirms 


194  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

this  fact  in  the  whole  series  of  organisms  which  possess  a  central 
nervous  system.  The  psychology  of  the  higher  apes  is  thus 
nearer  our  own  than  that  of  the  dog;  the  psychology  of  the  dog 
resembles  om's  more  than  that  of  the  rabbit,  etc. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  highly  developed  cerebral  organization 
of  man,  although  it  has  complicated  the  mental  irradiations  of 
his  sexual  appetite,  has  not  always  ennobled  them ;  on  the  con- 
trary, it  has  often  directed  them  into  pernicious  paths.  We  have 
seen  in  Chapter  VI  numerous  and  striking  proofs  of  the  degen- 
eration, brutality  and  cruelty  of  the  manifestations  of  the 
human  sexual  appetite,  and  we  shall  study  them  further  in 
Chapter  VIII.  Comparative  biology  shows  us  that  the  sexual 
appetite  is  transformed  into  love  in  very  different  ways.  In 
order  to  avoid  the  immensity  of  detail  of  comparative  biology 
I  shall  only  give  a  few  examples. 

"VSTiile  the  female  spider  often  kills  and  eats  the  male,  monkeys 
and  parrots  give  proof  of  such  a  great  mutual  attachment  that 
when  one  of  the  conjoints  dies  the  other  sinks  into  complete 
despair,  ceases  to  eat,  and  perishes  in  its  turn. 

In  this  domain  we  find  singular  adaptations  to  special  condi- 
tions of  existence.  Among  the  bees  and  ants,  a  third  class  of 
individuals,  or  neuters,  formed  by  differentiation  of  females,  do 
not  copulate,  and  lay  at  the  most  a  few  eggs  which  are  not 
fecundated  and  which  occasionally  develop  by  parthenogenesis. 

Among  the  termites,  another  species  of  social  ants,  a  similar 
state  of  things  exists,  but  the  neuters,  or  workers,  are  derived 
from  the  male  sex  as  well  as  the  female  and  their  sexual  organs 
are  quite  rudimentary.  The  third  sex,  or  worker,  not  only  has 
a  cerebral  development  superior  to  the  sexual  individuals,  but 
also  inherits  the  social  sympathetic  irradiations  of  the  sexual 
appetite,  which  results  in  his  devotion  to  a  brood  which  is  not 
his  own.  Among  the  social  insects  the  males  are  little  more 
than  flying  sexual  organs,  which  after  copulation  are  incapable  of 
leading  an  independent  existence  and  die  of  hunger  and  ex- 
haustion in  the  case  of  ants  or  termites,  or  are  massacred  by  the 
workers  in  the  case  of  bees. 

The  fecundated  females,  on  their  part,  become  breeding  ma- 
chines, whose  activity  is  incessant.     Among  the  ants,  however, 


SEXUAL   EVOLUTION  195 

the  females  are  at  first  capable  of  nourishing  a  few  larvae  by 
the  aid  of  a  portion  of  their  eggs  and  their  secretions,  till  the 
workers  are  hatched,  who  henceforth  undertake  all  the  work 
including  the  maternal  care  of  the  brood. 

Whoever  has  observed  the  fidelity  of  a  pair  of  swallows  and 
the  way  in  which  the  male  and  female  nourish  and  rear  their 
young,  must  be  struck  by  the  analogy  to  the  conjugal  and 
family  love  of  the  faithful  type  of  human  beings.  This  is  es- 
pecially remarkable  when  the  same  couple  return  every  year  to 
the  old  nest.  This  family  life  of  the  swallows  does  not  prevent 
a  certain  social  life,  which  manifests  itself  in  organized  attacks 
on  birds  of  prey,  and  in  combined  emigration  in  the  autumn 
and  spring. 

On  the  other  hand,  we  are  instinctively  indignant  at  the  want 
of  fidelity  in  other  animals,  between  conjoints,  parents  and  off- 
spring (dogs  and  rabbits,  for  instance),  because  we  involuntarily 
expect  to  find  in  them  our  own  moral  sense,  which  is  not  at  all 
just. 

From  the  phylogenetic  point  of  view  we  can  only  compare 
ourselves  to  the  higher  apes,  by  their  analogies  with  primitive 
man.  (Vide  Chapter  VI.)  The  question  which  concerns  us  here 
is  as  follows:  If  we  consider  the  peculiarities  of  our  sexual  cus- 
toms with  those  of  our  direct  ancestors,  what  are  those  which 
are  derived  from  ancient  and  profound  phylogenetic  instincts, 
those  which  are  derived  from  less  profound  ancestral  energies 
{i.e.,  relatively  more  recent)  and  lastly  those  which  depend  simply 
on  old  customs  fixed  by  tradition,  prejudice  and  habit?  If  we 
are  careful  we  shall  immediately  recognize  that  it  is  not  only 
the  sexual  appetite  itself,  but  also  a  large  part  of  its  correlatives 
and  irradiations,  in  which  the  phylogenetic  roots  are  deep. 
Jealousy,  coquetry,  instinctive  maternal  love,  fidelity  and  con- 
jugal love,  which  are  more  or  less  developed  in  primitive  man, 
are  also  present  in  monkeys  and  birds.  We  have  even  seen 
that  the  conjugal  fidelity  of  these  often  exceeds  our  own.  It  is, 
therefore,  not  true  that  our  animal  ancestors  are  only  allied 
to  us  by  sexual  appetite;  on  the  contrary,  we  must  admit  that 
they  have  much  more  noble  sentiments  and  instincts,  derived 
it  is  true  from  this  appetite,  but  belonging  to  the  domain  of  a 


196  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

higher  social  morality.  All  that  we  can  say  in  a  general  way 
concerning  the  complex  entanglement  of  our  sentiments  and 
instincts  is  that,  the  most  deeply  rooted  characters  in  human 
nature  are  at  the  same  time,  phylogenetically  speaking,  the  most 
ancient. 

Among  the  most  profound  instincts  of  sexual  life,  we  find 
moral  and  intellectual  incongruities.  Along  with  excitement 
of  the  sexual  appetite  in  the  male  by  the  odor  of  the  female 
genital  organs,  or  by  the  sight  of  erotic  pictures,  we  find  the 
most  touching  conjugal  love,  and  life-long  devotion  of  one  con- 
joint for  the  other  and  for  the  children.  Prostitution,  marriage 
by  purchase,  religious  marriage,  disgrace  attached  to  illegiti- 
mate births,  conjugal  and  family  rights  of  one  or  the  other  sex, 
etc.,  are,  on  the  contrary,  things  which  do  not  depend  on  recent 
phylogeny,  but  only  on  the  customs  and  traditions  of  certain 
races.  They  are  partly  outgrowths  from  egoism,  the  spu'it  of 
domination,  mysticism  and  hypocrisy,  and  partly  the  shifts  of 
an  overheated  social  life  which  is  becoming  more  and  more 
complicated. 

Westermark's  studies  are  very  instructive  in  this  respect. 
All  the  absurdities  and  contradictions,  brought  to  light  by  the 
historical  and  ethnographical  study  of  the  customs  and  matri- 
monial abuses  in  man,  allow  us  to  clearly  distinguish  that  which 
is  due  to  fashion  or  custom,  from  that  which  is  deeply  rooted  in 
our  heredity.  To  avoid  repetition  I  refer  my  readers  to  Chapter 
VI,  to  examine  the  differences  between  heredity  and  custom.     | 

Between  these  two  extremes  there  is,  however,  one  important 
domain,  viz.,  that  of  recent  phylogeny,  or  in  other  words  varia- 
tion. The  fixed  appetites  and  instincts  of  the  species  which  are 
proper  to  every  normal  man,  and  are  as  we  have  seen  fundamen- 
tally connected  Avith  many  animal  forms,  belong  to  ancient  and 
profound  phylogeny.  But  there  is  another  group  of  very  vari- 
able peculiarities,  strongly  developed  in  some  men  and  little  in 
others,  sometimes  completely  absent,  which  do  not  depend  on 
custom  but  on  what  is  called  individual  hereditary  disposition, 
or  individual  character.  WTiile  some  men  have  monogamous 
instincts  others  are  polygamous.  Some  men  are  by  instinct 
and  heredity  very  egoistic,  others  more  altruistic.    This  pecu- 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  197 

liarity  is  reflected  in  their  sexual  life  and  changes  the  character 
of  their  love  (but  not  that  of  their  sexual  instinct).  The  egoist 
may  love  his  wife,  but  this  love  is  interested  and  very  different 
from  that  of  the  altruist.  Between  the  two  extremes  there  is 
an  infinite  number  of  gradations  according  to  the  nature  of  the 
instincts  and  dispositions.  The  same  man  may  be  a  good  and 
generous  father,  and  a  social  exploiter  with  neither  shame  nor 
pity.  Another  will  pose  as  a  social  benefactor,  while  at  home 
he  is  an  egoist  and  a  tyi-ant.  The  individual  dispositions  of 
recent  phylogeny  are  combined  in  every  way  with  education, 
customs,  habit  and  social  position  to  produce  results  which  are 
often  paradoxical,  and  the  factors  of  which  are  ambition,  vanity, 
temper,  etc.  Recent  phylogeny  is  reflected  also  in  many  of  the 
irradiations  of  the  sexual  appetite  of  which  we  have  spoken  in 
Chapter  V.  Audacity,  jealousy,  sexual  braggardism,  hypocrisy, 
prudery,  pornography,  coquetry,  exaltation,  etc.,  depend  in 
each  particular  case,  according  to  their  degree  of  development, 
on  a  combination  of  individual  sexual  hereditary  dispositions 
with  individual  dispositions  in  the  other  domains  of  sentiment, 
intelligence  and  will.  In  this  way,  the  sexual  individuality  of 
one  man  is  constituted  in  a  veiy  complex  and  very  different  way 
to  that  of  other  men,  owing  to  the  high  development  of  the 
human  brain,  as  well  as  to  the  infinite  variability  and  adapt- 
ability of  his  aptitudes.  It  is  impossible  to  give  even  an  incom- 
plete explanation  of  all  the  symphonic  gradations  (often  caco- 
phonic)  which  represent  an  individuality,  or  to  fix  clearly  what 
distinguishes  it  from  others.  However,  when  the  principle  is 
understood,  it  is  not  difficult  to  estimate  the  sexual  individuality 
of  each  person  more  or  less  correctly. 

Strong  hereditary  dispositions  of  character  may  be  recognized 
in  early  infancy.  When  the  ancestry  of  a  man  is  well  known 
the  roots  of  his  recent  phylogeny  may  be  traced  to  his  ancestors. 
Here  we  observe  the  effect  of  crossing  between  varieties  or  differ- 
ent races,  or  on  the  contrary  that  of  consanguinity.  This  effect 
is  observed  in  character  and  in  sexual  disposition,  as  much  as 
in  the  shape  of  the  nose,  or  the  color  of  the  skin  and  hair,  etc. 
It  is  important  that  men  should  learn  to  know  themselves,  and 
also  study  each  other  from  this  point  of  view  before  marrying. 


198  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

On  the  whole,  we  may  say  that  the  average  civilized  man  of 
our  race  possesses  as  his  " phylogenetic  baggage"  a  strong 
sexual  appetite,  very  variable  sentiments  of  love,  generally 
somewhat  mediocre,  (we  have  seen  that  conjugal  love  is  more 
strongly  developed  in  most  monkeys  than  in  man),  lastly 
altruistic  or  social  sentiments  which  are  still  deplorably  weak. 
The  latter,  no  doubt,  form  no  part  of  the  sexual  life,  but  they 
must  be  taken  into  consideration  for  they  are  its  most  important 
derivatives,  and  it  is  indispensable  for  our  modern  social  life  to 
develop  them  in  harmony  with  family  and  conjugal  love. 

Hereditary  instincts  can  easily  be  observed  in  children. 
When  one  of  them  is  good,  it  gives  evidence  at  an  early  age  of 
the  sentiments  of  sympathy  or  altruism,  such  as  pity  and  affec- 
tion, as  well  as  an  instinctive  sentiment  of  duty,  the  object  of 
which  is  not  yet  social.  All  these  sentiments  are  at  first  only 
applied  to  human  individuals  known  to  the  child,  domestic 
animals,  or  even  inanimate  objects.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
ant,  from  the  beginning  of  its  existence,  shows  an  inherited 
instinct  or  sentiment  of  complete  social  duty.  In  man,  social 
sentiments  properly  so-called,  have  to  be  acquhed  by  education, 
but  they  require  for  their  expansion  a  considerable  degree  of 
inherited  sentiments  of  sympathy  and  duty.  A  person  without 
morals  can  easily  acquire  social  pliraseology  but  not  social  sen- 
timent.   A  few  more  points  requhe  to  be  considered. 

Monogamy  is  no  doubt  an  old  and  well-established  phylo- 
genetic  heritage,  while  polygamy  is  on  the  whole  rather  an 
aberration  produced  by  individual  power  and  wealth.  But  phy- 
logenetic  monogamy  is  by  no  means  identical  with  the  religious 
or  other  formality  of  our  present  legal  monogamy.  It  assumes 
first  of  all  an  early  marriage  immediately  after  puberty,  while 
our  civilization  has  placed  between  this  and  marriage,  which 
it  only  allows  later  as  a  rule,  the  unhealthy  swamp  of  prostitu- 
tion, which  so  often  sows  in  the  individual  the  destructive  seed 
for  his  future  legal  union,  before  this  has  taken  place.  Again, 
phylogenetic  monogamy  imposes  no  legal  constraint;  on  the 
contrary,  it  assumes  a  free,  natural  and  instinctive  inclination 
in  each  of  the  conjoints,  when  it  is  not  the  result  of  the  brute 
force  of  the  male.     Lastly,  it  by  no  means  excludes  a  change 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  199 

after  a  certain  time.  We  are  speaking  only  of  man,  and  not  of 
birds  and  monkeys,  who  are  more  monogamous  than  ourselves. 

Monogamy  without  children  has  little  reason  for  its  existence 
and  must  be  considered  simply  as  a  means  to  satisfy  the  sexual 
appetite  or  as  a  union  for  convenience.  It  is  the  same  with 
certain  marriages  between  individuals  of  very  different  ages, 
especially  the  marriage  of  a  young  man  with  a  woman  already 
old  and  sterile. 

As  far  as  we  can  ascertain,  the  majority  of  sexual  perversions, 
of  which  we  shall  speak  in  Chapter  VIII,  are  a  sad  pathological 
acquisition  of  the  human  race.  We  observe,  however,  especially 
in  the  higher  mammals,  acts  of  pederasty  between  males  when 
the  female  is  wanting. 

The  sexual  repulsion  which  normally  exists  between  animals 
of  different  species  rests  on  a  selective  basis,  the  hereditary 
mneme  of  their  reciprocal  germs  being  unable  to  place  itself  in 
homophony,  and  their  blood  also  having  a  mutual  toxic  action. 
In  speaking  of  sodomy  we  shall  see  that  this  instinctive  repul- 
sion may  disappear  in  pathological  cases,  both  in  man  and  in 
animals,  owing  to  bad  habits  or  unsatisfied  sexual  appetite. 
We  cannot  absolutely  demonstrate  the  phylogenetic  existence 
of  an  instinctive  disgust  for  consanguineous  sexual  intercourse. 

The  sexual  advances  made  by  women  in  civilized  countries, 
show  how  easily  we  may  be  deceived  in  attributing  to  a  phy- 
logenetic or  hereditary  origin,  certain  details  which  are  only 
due  to  external  circumstances.  In  man,  the  bearer  of  the  active 
germ,  the  instinct  of  sexual  advance  has  deep  phylogenetic 
roots.  It  is  quite  natural  to  him  and  is  evident  among  savage 
races,  where  the  man  risks  more  by  remaining  single  than  the 
woman.  Violent  combats  between  rivals  to  obtain  the  woman, 
who  remains  passive  like  most  animals,  are  evidence  of  this. 

Civilization  has  changed  all  this,  and  has  developed  two  castes 
of  women,  the  old  maids  and  the  prostitutes.  The  latter  satisfy 
the  appetites  of  men  in  an  artificial  and  unhealthy  manner, 
while  marriage  and  family  cares  only  bring  them  labor  and 
burdens  instead  of  riches.  Owing  to  the  promiscuous  polj^andry 
of  prostitution,  man  can  always  obtain  enough  women,  while 
woman  can  with  difficulty  obtain  a  suitable  husband.     These 


200  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

circumstances  have  more  and  more  developed  the  art  of  flirta- 
tion, coquetry  and  advances  on  the  part  of  girls,  and  we  can 
now  see,  especially  in  the  United  States,  that  advances  come 
more  and  more  from  the  female  side,  if  not  in  principle,  at  any 
rate  in  fact.  This  is  not  a  question  of  a  phylogenetic  or  heredi- 
tary transformation  of  the  sexes  among  civilized  peoples,  but 
an  unhealthy  effect  resulting  from  abnormal  circumstances,  that 
is  the  non-satisfaction  of  the  sexual  desires  of  woman,  together 
with  the  satiety  of  those  of  men.  Woman  makes  advances 
from  the  fear  of  remaining  celibate;  she  will  icease  to  do  so 
when  the  unnatural  causes  which  have  produced  this  state  of 
things  have  been  done  away  with. 

As  a  rule,  a  normal  and  adaptable  man  will  conduct  himself 
in  sexual  matters  as  in  others  according  to  the  prevailing  fashion. 
He  will  most  often  succeed  in  accommodating  his  sentiments  to 
those  of  his  conjoint.  On  the  other  hand,  this  average  repre- 
sentative of  normal  mediocrity  easily  becomes  the  slave  of 
routine  and  incapable  of  new  ideas.  However  normal  he  may 
be,  he  has  less  faculty  of  adaptation  or  mental  plasticity  and  less 
liberty,  than  a  man  of  higher  nature  independent  of  prejudices. 

ONTOGENY   OF   SEXUAL    LIFE 

The  first  striking  fact  in  the  ontogeny  of  sexual  life  is  the 
following:  All  the  sexual  organs,  both  external  and  internal, 
remain  in  an  embryonic  and  non-functional  state,  not  only  in  the 
embryo  but  for  a  long  time  in  the  child.  The  organs  and  their 
elements  exist,  but  they  are  still  small,  imperfectly  developed, 
and  in  a  state  of  rest.  At  the  time  of  puberty,  which  varies  in 
different  individuals,  the  sexual  glands  and  the  other  copulatory 
apparatus  enlarge  and  begin  to  functionate.  In  the  European 
races  puberty  occurs  between  the  age  of  twelve  and  seventeen 
years  in  girls,  and  between  fourteen  and  nineteen  in  boys;  it 
is  generally  earlier  in  the  South  and  later  in  the  North.  It  is 
curious  to  note  that  the  correlative  irradiations  of  the  sexual 
appetite  in  the  human  mind  develop  much  earlier  than  the 
organs,  or  even  the  sexual  appetite.  Again,  the  sexual  appetite 
often  appears  before  the  normal  development  of  the  genital  or- 
gans.    In  other  rare  cases  the  sexual  appetite  is  absent  in  the 


I 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  201 

adult,  even  when  the  corresponding  organs  are  well-developed. 
(Vide  Chapter  VIII.)  Such  irregularities  of  the  sexual  appetite 
belong  to  the  domain  of  pathology. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  quite  normal  for  young  girls  and  boys 
to  show  early  signs  of  mental  differences  corresponding  to  those 
we  have  described  in  Chapter  V.  In  young  girls  we  observe 
coquetry  and  jealousy  and  the  desire  for  finery.  Their  love  of 
dolls  and  the  care  they  take  of  them,  is  very  characteristic  of 
the  precocious  instinct  of  their  sex.  This  is  an  early  sign  of 
instinctive  maternal  love,  before  the  development  of  any  sexual 
sensation  or  function.  Among  boys  we  observe  a  tendency  to 
brag  and  to  boast  of  their  strength  before  girls,  to  show  their 
contempt  for  dolls  and  the  coquetry  of  little  girls,  and  also  to 
pose  as  protectors,  etc. 

Sexual  jealousy  already  exists  in  young  children.  We  see 
little  boys,  seeking  for  the  favors  of  little  girls,  show  violent 
jealousy  when  another  is  preferred  to  them.  All  these  phe- 
nomena depend  either  on  subconscious  instincts,  or  on  vague 
sexual  presentiments  which  play  a  large  part  in  the  infantile 
exaltation  of  sentiment.  Portraits  of  pretty  women,  the  sight 
of  certain  parts  of  the  body  or  feminine  clothing  often  provoke 
exalted  sentiments  in  boys;  girls  rather  admire  boldness,  an 
imposing  presence  and  often  beauty,  in  the  other  sex. 

Puberty  is  produced  by  certain  phenomena  which  occur  in 
the  sexual  organs.  In  the  boy  erections  occur  at  an  early  age 
when  the  penis  is  still  very  small.  It  is  curious  to  note  that 
certain  pathological  conditions  and  friction  of  the  glans  penis, 
especially  in  the  case  of  phimosis  and  as  a  result  of  bad  example, 
are  often  sufficient  to  produce  sexual  sensations  and  appetites 
in  very  young  boys.  The  same  thing  is  produced  in  little  girls 
by  excitation  of  the  clitoris.  All  these  phenomena  lead  to 
onanism  or  masturbation,  of  which  we  shall  speak  later  on. 
As  the  testicles  of  young  boys  do  not  secrete  semen,  masturba- 
tion only  provokes  secretion  from  the  accessory  glands,  but  this 
is  accompanied  by  orgasm. 

More  singular  still  are  cases  of  coitus  between  little  boys 
and  girls  whose  sexual  glands  are  still  undeveloped  and  pro- 
duce no  germinal  cells.    Although  they  are  pathological,  these 


202  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

phenomena  are  characteristic,  because  they  clearly  show  that 
the  brain  has  acquired  by  phylogeny  a  sexual  appetite  relatively 
independent  of  the  development  of  the  sexual  glands.  No 
doubt  the  sexual  appetite  does  not  develop,  or  disappears,  in 
eunuchs  when  they  are  castrated  quite  young;  but  it  is  pre- 
served together  with  the  secretions  and  functions  of  the 
external  genitals  when  castration  is  performed  after  puberty 
is  established. 

The  important  conclusion  which  results  from  these  facts  is 
that  the  existence  of  a  sexual  excitation  or  appetite  of  this  na- 
ture is  not  sufficient  to  prove  that  they  are  normal.  In  Chapter 
VIII  we  shall  prove  that  not  only  the  anomalies  of  the  heredi- 
tary sexual  disposition,  but  artificial  excitations  and  bad  habits 
may  also  produce  all  kinds  of  misconduct  and  excesses  which 
should  be  energetically  combated. 

We  have  described  in  Chapter  IV  the  great  individual  varia- 
tions of  the  sexual  appetite  in  the  two  sexes,  as  well  as  that  of 
the  sexual  power  in  man.  The  sexual  power  and  appetite  in 
man  are  strongest  between  the  years  of  twenty  and  forty.  We 
may  even  consider  this  period  as  the  most  advantageous  for  the 
procreation  of  strong  and  healthy  offspring  and  that  the  pro- 
creator  is  at  his  best  before  the  age  of  thirty. 

The  ontogenetic  development  of  the  sexual  appetite  and  love 
generally  produces  in  man  a  peculiar  phenomenon.  While 
habitual  gratification  and  education  of  the  sexual  appetite 
tends  to  make  it  more  and  more  calculating  and  cynical,  love, 
on  the  contrary,  becomes  more  elevated  and  refined  with  age 
and  less  egoistical  than  in  youth.  Owing  to  general  mental 
development,  the  education  of  sentiments  progresses  and  be- 
comes refined,  while  the  sexual  appetite  diminishes  in  intensity 
and  becomes  more  imperious  and  more  coarse.  We  are  only 
speaking  here  o^  normal  cases. 

In  youth,  the  intoxication  of  love  combined  with  intense 
sexual  appetite  triumphs;  when  the  appetite  is  once  satisfied 
the  unbridled  and  egoistic  passions  of  this  age  come  to  the  sur- 
face and  are  often  antagonistic  to  love.  At  a  more  advanced 
age,  on  the  contrary,  love  becomes  more  constant  and  more 
tranquil.    The  mistake  that  is  so  often  made  is  the  confusion 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  203 

of  love  with  sexual  appetite.  The  novelists  who  speculate  on 
the  eroticism  of  the  public  are  no  doubt  more  interested  in  de- 
scribing sexual  passion  and  amorous  intoxication,  with  all  the 
catastrophes  and  conflicts  which  arise  from  them,  than  the  tran- 
quil and  regular  love  of  a  couple  more  advanced  in  age,  the 
greatest  happiness  of  which  consists  in  harmony  of  sentiment 
and  thought,  as  well  as  the  mutual  regard  and  devotion  of  the 
couple  for  each  other. 

Sexual  appetite  and  sexual  power  in  man  become  extinguished 
between  the  ages  of  sixty  and  eighty;  old  men  of  eighty  are 
sometimes  still  capable,  but  they  are  no  longer  fecund.  As  a  rule 
sexual  power  diminishes  before  sexual  appetite,  and  this  some- 
times leads  old  men  to  use  artificial  means  to  revive  theh  power, 
or  to  satisfy  their  sexual  desires.  This  explains  why  the  egoists 
who  have  never  kno\vn  true  love  often  become  so  base  in  their 
sexual  manifestations  when  they  grow  old.  Their  experience  of 
SLXual  life  makes  them  experts  in  the  art  of  seduction.  If  this 
fact  appears  to  be  antagonistic  to  the  law  that  true  love  is 
refined  with  advancing  age,  we  must  bear  in  mind  that  the 
ontogenetic  development  of  the  sexual  appetite  is  not  the  same 
as  that  of  love;  that  in  some  respects  it  develops  in  a  contrary 
direction;  and  that  the  result  may  consequently  become  in- 
verted according  as  one  or  other  predominates.  It  is  needless 
to  say  that  there  are  a  number  of  intermediate  gradations,  and 
that  inverse  phenomena  may  be  produced  concurrently  in  the 
same  individual. 

According  to  Westermark  elderly  men  generally  fall  more 
easily  in  love  with  middle-aged  women  than  with  young  girls. 
No  doubt  this  is  often  the  case  when  reason  and  love  predomi- 
nate, but  it  is  necessary  to  avoid  generalization,  and  it  is  curious 
to  obsei've  how  often  very  old  men  become  enamored  of  quite 
young  girls,  as  the  latter  may  fall  in  love  with  old  men.  It  is 
common  knowledge  that  young  girls  do  not  marry  old  gray- 
beards  solely  for  their  money  or  their  name.  No  doubt  this  is 
not  uncommon,  but  I  have  often  seen  girls  of  eighteen  or  twenty 
fall  in  love  with  old  roues,  when  money,  name  and  position 
were  theirs  and  not  the  man's.  However,  in  such  cases  it  is 
most  often  the  old  man  who  is  amorous.     Westermark  main- 


204  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

tains  that  this  condition  is  not  normal,  and  we  shall  see  that 
very  often  it  is  a  case  of  commencing  senile  demerit ia,  a  patho- 
logical cerebral  condition  in  which  the  sexual  appetite  becomes 
suddenly  revived. 

The  love  of  a  young  girl  for  an  old  man  may  be  explained 
by  the  intellectual  superiority  of  the  old  man  or  by  the  absence 
of  another  object  for  love.  It  is  often  also  due  to  hysteria  and 
consequently  pathological. 

In  old  age,  when  the  sexual  life  of  two  conjoints  is  extinguished, 
there  remains  a  purified  love  which  colors  the  evening  of  their 
life  with  autumn  tints.  The  modern  detractors  of  marriage  too 
often  forget  this  phenomenon.  No  doubt  the  evening  of  con- 
jugal life  is  often  troubled  with  discord  and  sorrow,  but  then  it 
is  usually  a  question  of  "mariage  de  convenance,"  marriage  for 
money  or  position,  mutual  misunderstanding,  or  irreflecti\"o 
amorous  intoxication.  Quarrels  may  also  arise  when  patho- 
logical conditions  become  introduced  into  marriage. 

In  woman,  sexual  ontogeny  is  not  the  same  as  in  man.  She 
matures  earlier  and  more  rapidly.  In  our  race,  a  woman  at 
eighteen  is  sexually  mature;  between  eighteen  and  twenty-fise 
she  is  in  the  best  condition  for  sexual  life;  toward  fifty  the 
menopause  occurs,  and  with  it  cessation  of  fecundity.  Hence 
the  period  during  which  a  woman  is  fecund  is  much  shorter  than 
in  man  and  terminates  much  earlier. 

Owdng  to  this,  the  development  of  the  intellectual  and  senti- 
mental irradiations  of  the  sexual  appetite  in  woman  is  more 
rapid  than  in  man.  A  young  girl  is  much  more  mature  and  full 
grown  as  regards  her  reproductive  power  than  a  young  man. 
These  phenomena  extend  to  the  whole  mental  life  of  woman, 
who  is  less  capable  of  an  ulterior  development  in  old  age  than 
man,  because  she  generally  becomes  settled  and  automatic 
much  more  rapidly  than  the  latter.  No  doubt  these  phenomena 
are  partly  due  to  the  defective  mental  education  of  women,  but 
this  explanation  is  insufficient.  Here  again  we  must  distinguish 
the  phylogenetic  disposition  of  woman  from  the  effects  of  edu- 
cation during  her  ontogenetic  development. 

The  sexual  appetite  of  woman  manifests  itself  at  first  in  vague 
desires,  in  a  want  of  love,  and  does  not  as  a  rule  develop  locally 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  205 

till  after  coitus.  It  often  follows  that  in  ontogenetic  evolution 
the  sexual  appetite  of  women  increases  at  a  more  advanced  age 
(between  thirty  and  forty).  At  this  age  women  often  become 
enamored  with  young  boys,  whom  they  seduce  easily.  Widows 
are  especially  disposed  to  form  unions  with  men  younger  than 
themselves;  these  unions  are  rarely  happy,  for  the  woman  who 
is  older  than  her  husband  easily  becomes  jealous,  and  the  hus- 
band soon  becomes  tired  of  a  woman  whose  charms  have  faded. 
We  can  therefore  afRi'm  that,  as  a  rule,  in  order  to  be  both  nor- 
mal and  lasting,  a  monogamous  union  requires  that  the  husband 
should  be  from  six  to  twelve  years  older  than  his  wife,  and  that 
the  latter  should  marry  as  young  as  possible. 

In  the  sexual  ontogeny  of  normal  woman,  pregnancies,  child- 
birth, the  nursing  and  education  of  children  play  an  infinitely 
greater  role  than  the  sexual  appetite.  These  important  events 
in  woman's  life,  together  with  affection  for  her  husband 
occupy  a  great  part  of  the  cerebral  activity  of  every  woman,  and 
are  at  the  same  time  the  conditions  for  her  true  happiness. 

We  should  expect  the  sexual  appetite  in  woman  to  diminish 
or  cease  at  the  menopause;  but  this  is  not  usually  the  case,  and 
elderly  women  are  sometimes  tormented  by  the  sexual  appetite, 
which  is  all  the  more  painful  because  men  are  not  attracted  by 
them.  Such  hypersesthesia  cannot,  however,  be  considered  as 
normal;  most  often  the  sexual  appetite  diminishes  with  age 
and  is  replaced,  as  in  man,  by  the  tranquil  love  of  old  age,  of 
which  we  have  spoken. 

Old  women  are  often  spoken  of  with  contempt.  No  doubt, 
unsatisfied  passions  and  wounded  feelings  of  all  kinds,  want  of 
intellectual  culture  and  high  ideals,  and  especially  a  pathological 
condition  of  the  brain,  make  many  old  women  anything  but 
amiable.  I  am,  however,  convinced  that  the  elevation  of 
woman's  social  position,  and  greater  care  in  her  education,  will 
considerably  facilitate  the  development  of  her  faculties.  Edu- 
cation should  not  develop  mundane  qualities  in  women,  but 
depth  of  sentiment.  There  are  many  aged  women  who  can  be 
cited  as  examples  of  activity  and  perseverance,  for  their  sound 
and  clear  judgment,  as  well  as  for  their  affability  and  simplicity 
of  manners.    Although  their  intellectual  productiveness  ceases 


206  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

earlier  than  that  of  man,  this  in  no  way  excludes  an  excellent 
and  persevering  activity  of  mind,  combined  with  much  judg- 
ment and  sentimental  qualities.  A  woman  who  is  growing  old 
and  has  lost  the  members  of  her  family,  especially  her  husband, 
requires  some  object  to  replace  them  in  her  affection.  To  de- 
vote herself  to  social  activity  will  be  the  best  antidote  against 
the  peevish,  querulous  or  sorrowful  moods  which  so  easily  take 
possession  of  the  aged  woman.  It  appears  that  love,  which  is  a 
phylogenetic  derivative  of  the  sexual  appetite,  and  which  in 
middle  life  is  intimately  associated  with  this  appetite,  becomes 
afterwards  more  and  more  independent  of  it  and  then  requires 
more  compensation.  There  is  here  a  great  adaptation  of  love 
to  life,  an  adaptation  which  it  is  necessary  to  bear  in  mind. 

In  infancy  the  individual  is  naturally  egoistic;  his  appetites 
all  tend  to  self-preservation.  There  are  even  then,  however, 
great  individual  differences,  and  we  meet  with  children  who  are 
endowed  with  a  remarkable  sentiment  of  duty  and  a  great  sen- 
sibility to  the  troubles  of  others.  After  puberty  man's  sexual 
desire  leads  him  to  love,  toward  dual  egoism,  and  this  desire 
becomes  the  principal  factor  in  the  reproduction  of  the  species. 
In  old  age  the  individual  has  no  reproductive  aims  to  fulfill; 
his  life  is  only  a  burden  on  society,  if  it  is  not  directed  with  a 
view  to  benefit  others  and  society  in  general.  By  expansion 
and  purification  love,  at  first  sexual,  is  gradually  transformed 
into  purely  humanitarian  love,  i.e.,  altruistic  or  social.  At  least 
this  is  what  it  should  be,  and  then  the  fundamental  biogenetic 
law  of  Haeckel  (ontogeny  is  an  abridged  repetition  of  phylo- 
gcny)  will  receive  an  ultimate  confirmation.  Our  primitive 
unicellular  animal  ancestor  lived  for  itself  alone;  later  on  sexual 
reproduction  without  love  was  established;  then  conjugal  and 
family  love  appeared  (birds,  monkeys,  mammals,  etc.),  finally 
social  love  or  altruism  was  produced,  i.e.,  the  sense  of  social 
solidarity  based  on  the  sentiment  of  duty. 

The  last  is  still  very  weak  in  man,  while  some  animal  species, 
such  as  the  bees  and  ants,  have  developed  it  in  a  more  complete 
manner,  on  the  basis  of  instinct.  According  to  this  natural 
law,  all  social  organization  naturally  develops  altruism  or  the 
sentiment  of  duty.     The  history  of  humanity  proves  that  our 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  207 

social  union  is  only  developed  slowly  and  laboriously  through 
innumerable  contests,  and  that  it  is  derived,  directly  or  indi- 
rectly, from  the  family  union  of  individuals.  Extension  of 
communication  on  the  surface  of  the  earth  causes  the  artificial 
development  of  social  organization  to  advance  much  more 
rapidly  than  the  natural  phylogenetic  development  by  evolu- 
tion of  the  sentiments  or  social  instincts.  The  latter  are,  how- 
ever, forced  to  follow  the  movement,  resting  first  on  the  deep 
roots  of  family  and  friendly  altruism,  as  well  as  on  that  of  caste 
or  clan  (patriotism);  i.e.,  on  sentiments  of  sympathy  and  duty 
toward  certain  individuals  who  are  more  closely  connected  with 
us,  sentiments  which  are  hereditary  in  man,  A  vague  general 
humanitarian  sentiment,  a  hothouse  flower  which  is  still  feeble, 
has  already  commenced  to  grow  on  this  natural  basis.  Let  us 
hope  that  it  will  live. 

It  would  be  a  fundamental  error  to  try  and  found  social 
solidarity  solely  on  our  phylogenetic  sentiments  of  sympathy, 
or  on  our  ideal  faculty  of  devotion  and  self-sacrifice;  but  to  try 
and  take  egoism  as  a  basis  for  this  solidarity  is  a  still  greater 
error.  We  must  not  make  an  antinomy  of  egoism  and  altruism, 
but  regard  them  as  two  elements  inseparable  from  all  human 
society,  as  well  as  the  individuals  who  compose  it.  We  cannot 
deny  that  the  altruist,  endowed  with  strong  sentiments  of  sym- 
pathy and  duty,  is  an  excellent  social  worker,  while  the  pure 
egoist  constitutes  an  element  of  decomposition  for  society.  It 
is,  therefore,  a  social  duty  to  proceed  by  the  sexual  route  to  a 
selection  which  will  cause  the  first  to  multiply  and  eliminate 
the  second  as  far  as  possible  by  sterilizing  his  germs. 


CHAPTER   VIII 

SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY 

On  this  subject  we  refer  the  reader  to  the  well-known  work  of 
Krafft-Ebing,  "  Psychopathia  Sexualis,"*  in  which  will  be 
found  a  number  of  observations,  the  details  of  which  we  cannot 
enter  into  here.  We  may  first  of  all  say  that  with  the  excep- 
tion of  venereal  diseases  the  genital  organs  by  themselves  only 
play  a  very  small  part  in  sexual  pathology.  The  brain  is  the 
true  domain  of  nearly  all  sexual  anomalies. 

In  the  second  place,  we  may  remark  that  the  disorders  of 
sexual  life  only  rarely  belong  to  acute  affections  which  the  phy- 
sician can  treat  with  pharmaceutical  or  other  common  remedies. 
They  almost  exclusively  originate  in  the  mental  constitution, 
i.e.,  in  the  hereditary  dispositions  of  the  brain  of  the  individual. 
But  the  pathology  of  mental  or  cerebral  conditions  offers  an 
extremely  vast  field,  capable  of  so  much  extension  that  no 
definite  limit  can  be  fixed  between  the  normal  state  and  morbid 
states,  which  are  themselves  connected  by  numerous  transitions. 
A  great  number  of  acts  due  to  mental  conditions  which  the  public 
and  even  learned  theologians,  jurists  and  physicians  not  initiated 
in  psychiatry,  consider  as  criminal,  sinful,  or  infamous,  are  only 
the  product  of  pathological  aberrations  due  to  hereditary  dispo- 
sitions. I  was  recently  consulted  by  a  patient  of  this  kind, 
otherwise  possessed  of  noble  sentiments,  who  told  me  that  a 
physician  in  Germany  to  whom  he  related  his  troubles,  turned  on 
him  furiously  and  said,  ''These  things  are  filthy;  you  are  a  pig; 
hold  your  tongue  and  get  away  from  here!"  As  a  matter  of 
fact  this  unfortunate  patient  was  sustaining  a  heroic  struggle 
against  his  perverted  pathological  sexual  appetites.  Knowing 
little  or  nothing  of  these  matters  human  society,  mth  few  excep- 

*  English  translation  by  F.  J.  Rebman:    JRebman  Co.,  New  York. 

208 


SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY  209 

tions,  is  of  the  same  opinion  as  the  ignorant  doctor  mentioned 
above.  For  this  reason  I  think  it  necessary  at  least  to  give  an 
outUne  of  phenomena  which,  although  very  repulsive  in  them- 
selves, throw  much  light  on  the  sexual  question. 

j  PATHOLOGY  OF  THE  SEXUAL  ORGANS 

!     Every  deformity,  disease  or  operation  which  destroys  the 

I  sexual  glands  in  the  child,  or  prevents  them  from  developing, 

!  gives  rise  to  the  phenomena  which  we  have  described  when 

i  speaking  of  castration.     This  is  the  case,  for  instance,  with 

cryptorchidism  in  which  the  testicles  remain  in   the  inguinal 

canal  and  become  atrophied,  instead  of  descending  into  the 

I  scrotum.    The  following  case  is  an  example,  and  is  interesting 

in  other  respects: 

I     A  young  man  was  affected  with  imbecility  and  congenital 
i  cryptorchidism  with  atrophy  of  the  testicles.     A  eunuch  from 
'  birth,  he  developed  no  sexual  appetite  and  no  correlative  mascu- 
line character.     To  make  a  man  of  him,  his  too  eager  aunts 
[married  him  to  a  strong  girl,  who  was  anything  but  innocent. 
She  attempted  by  all  kinds  of  manipulations  to  cure  the  sexual 
blindness  of  her  husband;  but  this  was  a  waste  of  labor,  as  the 
1  unhappy  wretch  only  regarded  the  performance  as  disgusting  and 
filthy.     He  was  violently  excited  and  became  somnambulistic. 
;      Soon  afterwards  the  wife  consoled  herself  with  a  lover  of  normal 
'  sexual  power,  and  they  both  overwhelmed  the  poor  eunuch  with 
:  raillery.     The  latter,  becoming  furious,  offered  his  wife  a  cake 
poisoned  with  arsenic  on  her  birthday,  but  she  saw  through  the 
stratagem.     The  poor  wretch  was  sent  for  trial  and  condemned 
I  to  a  long  term  of  imprisonment  for  attempted  poisoning.     I  con- 
!  sider  this  judgment  as  a  legal  crime.     In  spite  of  my  protests, 
!  imbecility  was  not  admitted,  and  the  somnambulism  was  looked 
i  upon  as  simulated. 

;  On  the  other  hand,  the  same  lesions  when  they  occur  in  the 
I  adult  neither  destroy  the  correlative  sexual  characters,  nor  the 
'  power  of  coitus,  nor  the  voluptuous  sensation  of  the  orgasm. 
'  In  man,  aspermia  sometimes  occurs;  the  testicles  appear  to 
i  be  well  formed,  but  the  semen  contains  no  spermatozoa.  In 
[spite  of  this  the  aspermatic  individual  generally  has  erections, 
I  a  certain  amount  of  sexual  power  and  orgasm,  and  is  capable  of 


210  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

amorous  feelings,  although  his  sexual  functions  are  generally 
feeble.     But  he  is  incapable  of  fecundating  a  woman. 

Some  women  who  have  never  menstruated  possess  normal 
ovaries  and  may  become  pregnant. 

Tuberculosis,  tumors  and  inflammations  of  the  testicles  and 
ovaries  may  cause  sterility. 

The  erection  of  the  penis  is  often  rendered  impossible  by  cer- 
tain deformities,  such  as  hypospadias  and  epispadias,  in  which 
the  urethral  canal  opens  respectively  below  or  above  the  penis. 

Involuntary  emissions  of  semen  without  erection,  with  or 
without  voluptuous  sensation,  is  called  spermatorrhea.  This  is 
often  a  result  of  onanism,  nervousness  or  constipation.  Too 
much  importance  has  been  attached  to  it.  In  hypochondriacs 
spermatorrhea  becomes  a  bugbear,  which  often  makes  them  the 
dupes  of  charlatans.  The  less  attention  is  paid  to  it  the  quicker 
it  disappears;  especially  when  it  is  of  purely  nervous  origin,  as 
is  usually  the  case. 

Phimosis,  or  narrowness  of  the  opening  of  the  prepuce  is  nearly 
always  of  embryonic  origin.  It  prevents  the  glans  penis  from 
becoming  exposed,  at  least  during  erection.  It  is  a  very  com- 
mon condition  and  very  disagreeable.  If  the  prepuce  is  forcibly 
drawn  back  behind  the  glans  penis  before  erection,  as  is  often 
the  case  in  masturbation,  the  penis  is  gripped  by  the  prepuce  so 
that  it  cannot  sometimes  be  drawn  forward  and  inflammation 
with  cedema  results;  this  condition  is  called  paraphimosis,  and 
may  become  dangerous.  Secretions,  mine  and  semen  accumu- 
late and  decompose  in  a  phimosed  prepuce,  cause  irritation 
and  lead  to  masturbation.  All  cases  of  phimosis  should  be 
operated  upon  in  infancy,  by  complete  or  partial  circumcision. 

In  women,  the  number  of  diseases  which  prevent  conception 
is  much  greater  than  in  man.  The  ovary  may  undergo  cystic 
degeneration  or  become  the  seat  of  a  tumor;  but  affections  of 
the  uterus  and  vagina  cause  more  sterility  than  ovarian  affec- 
tions. This  results  chiefly  from  catarrh  and  inflammation- 
which  destroy  the  spermatozoa  before  they  can  reach  the  egg 
during  its  descent.  Disorders  of  menstruation  have  much  less 
influence  on  fecundity.  The  womb  sometimes  remains  in  an 
infantile  state,  which  may  also  cause  sterility.    Other  diseases  of 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  211 

the  female  sexual  organs  have  a  more  general  pathological 
character  and  hardly  influence  sexual  intercourse. 

A  method  of  rendering  women  sterile  without  castration  (re- 
moval of  the  ovaries)  consists  in  interrupting  the  communication 
between  the  ovaries  and  the  womb  by  dislocation  of  the  Fallo- 
pian tubes:  this  avoids  all  the  evil  effects  of  castration. 

Certain  inflammations  and  displacements  of  the  uterus  and 
ovaries  are  often  the  origin  of  pains,  indispositions  and  nervous 
disorders  in  women.  Irregularity  and  pain  in  menstruation  are 
a  frequent  cause  of  neuroticism. 

The  hymen  is  seldom  so  strongly  developed  as  to  offer  a  serious 
obstacle  to  coitus;  but  when  this  occurs  it  may  be  removed  by 
a  slight  operation.  Young  women  often  suffer  from  vaginismus, 
or  painful  spasms  occurring  when  an  object,  such  as  the  finger 
or  penis,  is  introduced  into  the  vagina. 

Hermaphrodism  in  man  is  always  pathological,  extremely 
rare,  and  when  it  exists  nearly  always  incomplete.  These  cases 
are  generally  incomplete  mixtures  concerning  principally  the 
correlative  characters.  A  double  function  only  exists  in  legends. 
I  have  myself  seen  a  celebrated  hermaphrodite  named  Catherine 
Hohmann  who  had  a  well-formed  testicle  on  the  left  side  en- 
closed in  a  fold  of  skin  which  resembled  the  larger  lip  of  the 
vulva,  while  the  penis  was  very  short  and  resembled  a  clitoris. 
This  individual,  who  was  baptized  as  a  woman,  was  certainly 
male  on  one  side;  on  the  other  hand,  the  feminine  nature  was 
more  than  problematical.  Menstruation  was  alleged  to  have 
occurred  but  was  not  established  with  certainty,  any  more  than 
an  ovary  or  uterus. 

Much  more  frequent  are  inverted  correlative  sexual  charac- 
ters, such  as  bearded  women,  men  with  breasts;  also  mental 
sexual  inversions,  of  which  we  shall  speak  later. 

VENEREAL   DISEASES* 

We  cannot  give  here  a  complete  description  of  the  venereal 
diseases,  which  constitute  a  terrible  evil  for  humanity,  by  bring- 

*  For  further  information  on  this  subject  see  Marshall's  "  Syphilology  and 
Venereal  Disease,"  (London,  Balliere,  Tindall  &  Co.);  also  Marshall's  transla- 
tion of  Fournier's  "Treatment  and  Prophylaxis  of  Syphilis,"  (New  York: 
Rebman  Co.) 


212  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

ing  a  great  deal  of  misfortunes  and  decadence  into  family  and 
social  life.  Let  us  first  point  out  the  common  error  which 
attributes  to  sexual  excess  the  evil  effects  which  are  really  due 
to  venereal  disease.  Although  it  may  be  uncommon,  one  may 
be  infected  by  these  diseases  after  an  innocent  kiss,  a  cut  finger, 
by  sitting  on  a  pri\'y  contaminated  by  a  person  suffering  from 
venereal  disease,  by  the  use  of  contaminated  linen,  etc.,  etc.  A 
pachydermatous  Don  Juan,  on  the  contrary,  may  abandon  him- 
self to  the  wildest  sexual  excess  without  being  infected,  if  he  is 
prudent  and  has  good  luck.  On  the  other  hand,  young  men 
may  be  infected  after  having  been  ■v\^th  a  prostitute  only  once 
in  their  lives,  and  thus  ruin  their  whole  existence. 

There  are  three  kinds  of  venereal  disease,  which  we  will  describe 
in  a  few  words.  To  these  may  be  added  certain  parasites,  such  as 
crab-lice  and  the  itch,  which  are  easily  communicated  by  sexual 
intercourse  with  infected  persons,  but  also  in  other  ways. 

Gonorrhea  or  Clap. — This  disease  consists  in  a  pm-ulent 
inflammation  of  the  uretlira  caused  by  a  microbe  called  the 
gonococcus.  AVhen  treated  properly  it  may  be  cured  in  a 
few  weeks,  but  very  often  the  inflammation  becomes  chi'onic 
and  attacks  the  neighboring  organs.  Chronic  clap,  or  "morning- 
drop,"  may  lead  in  the  male  to  permanent  stricture  of  the 
urethra,  which  in  turn  may  produce  retention  of  urine,  catarrh 
of  the  bladder  and  disease  of  the  kidneys,  which  may  be  fatal. 
One  attack  of  gonorrhea  in  no  way  protects  against  a  second 
infection,  but  rather  predisposes  to  it,  and  when  this  disease  be- 
comes chronic  exacerbations  or  relapses  of  the  acute  stage  often 
occm'  without  fresh  infection. 

In  women  the  results  of  gonorrhea  are,  if  possible,  still  worse 
than  in  men,  because  it  is  more  difficult  to  cure.  A  prostitute 
affected  with  gonorrhea  may  infect  an  enormous  number  of 
men,  and  in  this  case  medical  inspection  of  brothels  is  no  guar- 
antee. The  gonococci  are  concealed  in  all  the  corners  and  folds 
of  the  internal  genital  organs  of  woman,  where  they  set  up 
inflammation  of  the  womb,  the  Fallopian  tubes  and  even  the 
ovaries,  which  may  lead  to  adhesions  between  the  abdominal 
organs.  Women  affected  with  chronic  gonorrhea  generally  be- 
come sterile.     When  the  womb  and  the  ovaries  are  affected 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  213 

there  is  much  suffering  and  the  woman  may  be  confined  to  bed 
for  some  years.  Stricture  of  the  urethra  and  inflammation  of 
the  bladder  are  more  rare  in  women  than  in  men,  as  the  result 
of  gonorrhea. 

But  gonorrhea  is  not  confined  to  the  adults  of  both  sexes. 
The  innocent  child,  who  at  birth  has  to  pass  through  its  mother's 
vulva,  when  this  is  affected  with  gonorrhea,  undergoes  a  bap- 
tism of  gonococci  which  attack  the  conjunctiva  of  the  eyes  and 
set  up  a  severe  purulent  inflammation,  called  ophthalmia  of  the 
newly  born  {ophthalmia  neonatorum) .  This  is  one  of  the  chief 
causes  of  total  blindness,  and  if  the  child  is  not  entirely  blind, 
there  are  often  large  white  patches  left  on  the  cornea  which  con- 
siderably interfere  with  sight.  Gonorrheal  ophthalmia  may 
also  occur  in  adults  by  conveying  pus  from  the  urethra  to  the 
eyes  by  the  fingers. 

Syphilis. — This  disease  is  still  more  formidable  than  gon- 
orrhea. It  is  caused  by  a  microbe  which  has  been  recently 
discovered  (Spirochceta  pallida) .  Syphilis  is  much  more  chronic 
than  gonorrhea  and  commences  with  a  small  sore  indurated  at 
its  base  and  called  the  hard  chancre.  This  is  situated  on  the 
genital  organs  or  elsewhere;  in  the  mouth,  for  instance,  when 
this  has  been  in  contact  with  the  buccal  or  genital  organs  of  a 
person  infected  with  syphilis.  The  syphilitic  poison  spreads 
through  the  body  by  means  of  the  blood  and  lymph.  At  the 
end  of  a  few  weeks  eruptions  appear  on  the  body  and  face,  and 
then  commences  a  series  of  disasters  the  cause  of  which  may  be 
suspended  over  the  victim  for  his  whole  life,  Hke  the  sword  of 
Damocles,  even  when  he  believes  himseK  cured;  for  the  cure  of 
syphilis  is  often  uncertain.  This  disease  may  remain  latent  for 
months  and  years,  to  reappear  later  on  in  different  organs  and 
cause  fresh  lesions. 

Syphilis  causes  ulcers  of  the  skin  and  mucous  membranes;  it 
sometimes  causes  decay  of  the  bones;  it  may  cause  disease  of 
the  internal  organs,  such  as  the  liver  and  lungs;  it  affects  the 
walls  of  the  blood  vessels,  causing  them  to  become  hard  and 
brittle  (atheroma);  it  causes  disease  of  the  eyes,  especially  of 
the  iris  and  retina,  tumors  (or  gummata)  in  the  brain,  paralysis, 
etc.    In  fact,  it  spares  none  of  the  organs  of  the  body. 


214  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Among  the  most  terrible  results  of  syphilis  we  must  mention 
locomotor  ataxy  (sclerosis  of  the  posterior  columns  of  the  spinal 
cord),  with  its  lightning  pains  and  paralysis  of  the  legs  and 
arms;  also  general  paralysis  of  the  insane,  which  by  causing 
gradual  atrophy  of  the  brain,  destroys  one  after  the  other, 
sensations,  movements  and  all  the  mental  faculties.  These  two 
diseases,  which  are  so  common  at  the  present  day,  only  occur 
in  old  syphilitics,  five  to  twenty  years,  or  more  often  ten  to 
fifteen  years  after  infection,  and  as  a  rule  in  persons  who  think 
they  have  been  completely  cured.  Both  these  diseases  are  fatal. 
Before  causing  death,  locomotor  ataxy  causes  intolerable  pain 
for  several  years.  General  paralysis  first  gives  rise  to  grandiose 
ideas,  and  after  disintegrating  the  human  personality  bit  by 
bit,  ends  by  transforming  the  individual  into  a  being  much 
inferior  to  animals,  and  of  an  aspect  as  miserable  as  it  is  repul- 
sive. A  general  paralytic  in  his  last  stage  is  little  more  than  a 
vegetating  ruin,  in  whom  the  nervous  activities  are  decomposed 
little  by  little,  after  the  gradual  disappearance  of  all  the  mental 
faculties.  This  is  the  result  of  slow  atrophy  of  the  brain  and 
gradual  destruction  of  its  microscopic  elements,  or  neurones. 

The  early  stages  of  syphilis  may  easily  pass  unnoticed  owing 
to  their  partly  latent  and  completely  painless  character.  Small 
eruptions  may  be  mistaken  for  other  affections,  and  mercurial 
treatment  generally  disperses  the  symptoms  of  primary  and 
secondary  syphilis.  But  syphilitics  who  are  apparently  cured 
are  never  safe  from  being  attacked,  after  perhaps  many  years, 
with  locomotor  ataxy,  general  paralysis  or  the  tertiary  or  quat- 
ernary manifestations  of  S3qDhilis,  such  as  disease  of  the  bones, 
internal  organs,  eyes,  brain,  etc.  The  sores  of  the  first  two  or 
three  years  of  syphilis  are  contagious  but  painless,  and  hence 
do  not  prevent  coitus  when  they  occur  in  the  genitals.  After 
three  years  syphilis  becomes  less  contagious,  but  there  is  no 
definite  time  limit  and  cases  have  been  recorded  in  which  con- 
tagious lesions  occurred  tec  or  fifteen  years  after  the  onset  of 
the  disease. 

A  syphilitic  man  may  transmit  the  disease  to  his  children 
without  infecting  his  wife,  and  these  children  may  die  before 
birth  or  may  be  born  with  congenital  syphilis.    Tliis  is  due  to 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  215 

the  spermatozoa  being  infected  with  syphihs.  However,  this 
is  fortunately  not  always  the  case,  for  many  cured  syphUitics 
have  healthy  childi'en.  A  child  affected  with  congenital  syph- 
ilis (from  the  father)  may  infect  the  mother  during  pregnancy; 
this  is  called  ''syphilis  by  conception."  Congenital  syphilis  may 
also  cause  locomotor  ataxy  and  general  paralysis. 

It  is  difficult  to  enumerate  all  the  infirmities  which  syphilis  in 
the  parents  may  transmit  to  the  children.  Syphilis  often  ren- 
ders marriage  sterile.  It  is  more  frequent  in  men  than  in  women, 
because  the  number  of  prostitutes  is  small  compared  with  the 
number  of  men  who  go  vnth.  them;  a  single  prostitute  may  con- 
taminate a  whole  regiment.  On  their  part,  the  clients  of  pros- 
titutes convey  gonorrhea  and  sj^^hilis  to  their  wives,  thus 
spreading  in  society  this  abominable  plague  and  all  the  evils 
resulting  from  it. 

Soft  Chancre. — The  third  kind  of  venereal  disease  is  the  soft 
chancre,  thus  called  in  distinction  to  hard  chancre,  which  is  the 
primary  sore  of  syphilis.  Soft  chancre  is  the  least  dangerous 
and  the  least  common  of  the  tlu"ee  diseases.  It  consists  of  an 
ulcer  which  remains  localized  to  the  genital  organs  (unless  it  is 
complicated  with  syphilis,  which  is  frequent).  The  ulcerated 
parts  are  destroyed,  but  the  sore  heals  generally  without  trouble. 

Venereal  diseases  constitute  one  of  the  worst  satellites  of  the 
sexual  appetite.  If  men  were  not  so  ignorant  and  careless,  it 
would  be  on  the  whole  easy  to  avoid  them  and  cause  their  grad- 
ual disappearance.  One  of  the  most  absurd  and  infamous  or- 
ganizations which  can  be  imagined  is  that  of  the  State  regulation 
of  prostitution  which,  under  the  pretext  of  hygiene,  compels 
prostitutes  to  be  registered  by  the  police  or  to  live  in  brothels. 
They  then  undergo  regular  medical  examination,  the  object  of 
which  is  to  prevent  those  who  are  diseased  from  practicing  their 
trade,  and  compel  them  to  be  treated  in  hospital.  We  shall  see 
later  on  that  this  system  absolutely  fails  in  its  object,  for  the 
simple  reason  that  the  treatment  of  venereal  diseases  is  by  no 
means  the  panacea  which  many  people  imagine. 

The  first  attack  of  gonorrhea  in  man  is  veiy  often  spon- 
taneously cured,  while  unskillful  treatment  often  aggravates  it. 
The  relapses  of  this  disease,  on  the  other  hand,  especially  in 


216  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

their  chronic  form,  often  resist  all  kinds  of  treatment  and  some- 
times become  incurable.  The  gonococci  become  hidden  in  the 
folds  of  the  deep  parts  of  the  mucous  membrane,  both  in  men 
and  women,  and  cannot  all  be  destroyed.  With  regard  to  syph- 
ilis, mercurial  treatment,  although  remarkable  in  its  immediate 
effect,  requires  prolonged  administration.  And  it  is  by  such 
means  that  it  is  proposed  to  make  prostitutes  clean!  There  is 
only  one  radical  cure  for  venereal  diseases;  that  is  not  to  con- 
tract them!  However,  this  does  not  prevent  us  from  recom- 
mending all  those  who  are  affected  with  them  to  seek  immediate 
treatment  by  a  skilled  specialist. 

It  is  sad  to  see  ladies  of  high  position  defending  such  barbarous 
institutions  as  proxenetism  (the  business  of  keeping  brothels) 
and  the  regulation  of  prostitution,  imagining  that  they  thereby 
protect  their  daughters  against  seduction.  Such  aberration  can 
only  be  explained  by  suggestive  influence  on  the  part  of  men. 
Among  men,  and  especially  among  many  physicians,  the  belief 
in  the  efficacy  of  regulation  depends  on  a  mixture  of  blind  rou- 
tine, faith  in  authority  and  want  of  judgment,  combined  per- 
haps with  more  or  less  unconscious  eroticism.  We  shall  consider 
this  point  in  detail  later  on. 

One  of  the  most  tragic  effects  of  venereal  disease  is  the  con- 
tamination of  an  innocent  wife,  whose  whole  life,  hitherto  chaste 
and  pure,  becomes  brutally  deprived  of  its  fruits,  and  whose 
dreams  of  the  ideal  and  hopes  of  happiness  become  swamped  in 
the  mire  with  which  prostitution  has  contaminated  her.  Is  it 
surprising  that  love  in  such  cases  becomes  replaced  by  bitterness 
and  despair?  Some  modern  authors,  such  as  Brieux  {Les 
Avaries)  and  Andre  Couvreur  (La  Grai'ne),  have  pictured  in  their 
dramas  and  novels  the  tragic  effects  of  venereal  disease  and 
heredity  in  the  family,  as  well  as  their  social  consequences. 
What  is  deplorable,  is  the  enormous  proportion  of  persons  who 
are  infected  with  venereal  diseases. 

SEXUAL    PSYCHOPATHOLOGY 

With  the  exception  of  what  is  called  sexual  inversion  and 
pathological  love  of  the  insane,  sexual  psychopathology  (i.e., 
sexual  pathology  of  mind)  is  chiefly  limited  to  the  domain  of  the 


I 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  217 

sexual  appetite,  and  originates  mainly  in  fetichism  (see  Chapter 
V),  to  which  it  is  closely  allied.  Let  us  first  examine  certain 
anomalies  which  partly  concern  the  lower  nervous  functions. 

First  of  all  a  general  question  presents  itself.  Hereditary  or 
congenital  sexual  anomalies  have  been  distinguished  from  those 
which  are  said  to  result  from  vicious  habits.  Krafft-Ebing,  in 
his  celebrated  book  which  we  have  already  quoted,  makes  a 
capital  difference  between  these  two  causes,  and  stigmatizes 
the  acquired  vices  with  great  indignation.  I  do  not  deny  that 
there  is  reason  for  the  distinction,  but  we  must  take  exception 
to  two  fundamental  errors  in  the  manner  in  which  the  facts 
are  presented. 

In  the  first  place,  the  difference  between  hereditary  and  ac- 
quired sexual  anomalies  is  only  relative  and  gradual,  so  that  it 
is  necessary  to  avoid  opposing  one  against  the  other.  When  an 
anomaly  arrives  spontaneously  in  the  first  sexual  glimmer  of 
the  child's  mind  during  its  development,  it  is  obvious  that  it 
is  the  expression  of  a  profound  hereditary  taint,  the  result  of 
blastophthoria  or  of  unfortunate  combinations  of  ancestral  ener- 
gies which  have  been  associated  by  the  conjugation  of  the  two 
procreative  germs.  In  such  a  case  it  is  comparatively  easy  to 
prove  that  this  is  a  pathological  symptom  independent  of  the 
will  of  the  individual.  But  a  continuous  series  of  degrees  in  the 
intensity  of  a  hereditary  predisposition  to  a  certain  sexual 
anomaly,  or  to  other  anomalies  or  peculiarities  apt  to  provoke 
this  anomaly,  insensibly  connects  the  purely  hereditary  patho- 
logical appetite  with  that  which  is  simply  the  effect  of  acquired 
vicious  habits.  In  this  way  a  strong  hereditary  predisposition 
may  exaggerate  a  moderate  normal  sexual  appetite,  or  may  give 
it  a  pathological  direction  under  influences  which  would  have 
had  no  effect  in  a  less  predisposed  individual.  Again,  a  slightly 
marked  tendency  to  homosexuality  in  a  man  may  increase  under 
the  seductive  influence  of  a  passionate  invert,  when  the  same 
individual  would  have  lost  this  tendency  if  he  had  fallen  seriously 
in  love  with  a  woman.  On  the  other  hand,  the  invert  would 
have  no  influence  on  an  individual  who  was  not  predisposed. 

If  the  hereditary  disposition  is  very  strong,  it  is  developed 
spontaneously  or  under  the  influence  of  very  slight  circumstances. 


218  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

If  it  is  mediocre,  it  may  remain  latent  and  even  become  extinct 
when  favorable  circumstances  do  not  awaken  it.  When  it  is 
entirely  absent  the  most  powerful  seduction  and  the  most  evil 
influence  camiot  give  rise  to  the  corresponding  anomaly.  These 
facts  are  sufficient  to  show  what  abuse  is  made  of  the  term 
acquired  vice.  Under  this  heading  are  designated  a  number  of 
peculiarities  the  roots  of  which  are  to  a  great  extent  contained 
in  the  germ  of  heredity. 

The  power  of  words  on  the  human  mind  produces  antinomies 
which  do  not  really  exist;  such  is  the  case  with  the  terms  vice 
and  disease.  Vices  depend  on  a  hereditary  mnemic  disposition, 
of  varying  strength  and  more  or  less  pathological,  or  at  any  rate 
unilateral  {i.e.,  developed  in  one  direction  only,  or  connected 
with  a  single  group  of  objects);  according  to  the  good  or  evil 
influence  of  the  environment  they  may  develop,  become  limited 
or  even  fail  to  appear.  Inversely,  we  may  say  that  many 
diseases,  especially  of  the  brain,  are  the  source  of  vices. 

In  the  second  place,  it  follows  from  this  fundamental  prin- 
ciple, that  the  vicious  and  apparently  acquired  conduct  of  cer- 
tain individuals  should  not  be  considered  as  the  product  of 
perverted  free  will,  but  rather  as  the  unfortunate  and  destructive 
result  of  a  bad  hereditary  disposition  developed  under  the  influ- 
ence of  the  bad  habits  of  a  corrupt  environment.  This  environ- 
ment being  itself  composed  of  men,  there  is  a  vicious  circle  of 
cause  and  effect  which  will  not  escape  the  mind  of  the  thoughtful 
reader.  Bad  habits  are  made  by  hereditary  forces,  and  bad 
habits  develop  in  their  turn  by  custom,  and  may  even  create,  by 
blastophthoria,  vicious  hereditary  dispositions.  The  indigna- 
tion of  the  moralists  wiio  condemn  vicious  persons  are  very  like 
the  temper  of  a  child  who  strikes  the  fire  which  burnt  him. 

REFLEX   ANOMALIES 

We  have  already  mentioned  vaginismus,  which  is  often  pro- 
duced in  women  by  the  first  coitus.  Priapism  in  man  is  some- 
what analogous  to  vaginismus.  It  is  produced  by  an  exaggera- 
ted reflex  kritability  of  the  nerve  centers  for  erection,  and 
results  in  continual  and  painful  erections,  which  sometimes  end 
in  ejaculation  without  sensation.      Another  anomaly,  more  or 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  219 

less  reflex  and  very  frequent,  produces  voluptuous  sensations 
and  premature  ejaculation  after  short  and  incomplete  erections. 
In  some  nervous  women  also,  the  venereal  orgasm  occurs  very 
rapidly  and  briefly.  These  anomalies  belong  to  the  domain  of 
medicine  and  are  of  little  importance  for  om*  subject. 

PSYCHIC   IMPOTENCE 

Psychic  impotence  is  a  symptom  which  occurs  accidentally 
in  the  normal  state  and  very  frequently  in  psychopathological 
conditions. 

A  representation  or  idea  of  any  kind,  may  suddenly  paralyze 
by  suggestive  action  the  normal  reflex  mechanism  of  the  center 
for  erection.  The  blood  ceases  to  accumulate  in  the  corpora 
cavernosa  and  erection  is  either  arrested  or  not  produced  at  all. 
For  example,  a  very  excited  lover,  who  has  had  strong  erections 
at  the  moment  when  he  prepared  to  copulate,  may  be  suddenly 
overcome  with  the  idea  that  he  will  fail,  or  by  some  other 
thought  which  paralyzes  erection  and  renders  coitus  impossible. 
The  remembrance  of  such  a  failure  and  the  distress  and  shame 
attached  to  it,  even  efforts  to  produce  erection  indirectly  for 
another  attempt,  constitute  further  causes  of  inhibition  of  the 
cerebro-spinal  activity;  they  temporarily  extinguish  the  sexual 
appetite,  and  prevent  by  their  interference  the  automatic 
mechanism  of  erection  which  they  strive  to  produce.  The 
greater  the  fear  of  failure,  the  more  the  psychic  impotence  in- 
creases. This  phenomenon  may  be  limited  to  a  certain  woman, 
but  it  is  more  often  general.  Sometimes  an  incomplete  erection 
is  produced,  which  is  insufficient. 

This  condition,  which  depends  on  auto-suggestion,  is  best 
treated  by  hypnotic  suggestion.  The  sentiment  of  impotence 
powerfully  depresses  a  man,  and  the  depression  increases  his 
impotence.     This  condition  often,  however,  disappears  by  itself. 

A  special  variety  of  psychic  impotence  is  that  in  which  erec- 
tion takes  place,  but  the  idea  of  ejaculation  predominates  so 
much  that  it  paralyzes  the  voluptuous  sensations,  and  causes 
ejaculation  to  occur  without  pleasure,  or  even  erection  to  cease. 

Impotence  may  occur  at  the  first  coitus,  or  may  come  on 
gi'adually.     It  is  often  produced  suddenly  at  the  time  of  mar- 


220  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

riage  in  persons  who  have  hitherto  been  very  capable,  even  in 
Don  Juans.  Men  may  have  normal  erections  and  pollutions, 
but  these  may  be  stopped  by  counter-suggestions  at  each  at- 
tempt at  coitus.  Habitual  masturbation  may  in  some  cases 
contribute  to  produce  impotence,  but  we  must  not  generalize 
from  such  cases,  nor  construct  a  dogma  from  them,  for  con- 
tinence may  also  be  a  cause  of  impotence. 

All  these  details,  which  are  combined  in  all  kinds  of  ways  with 
other  sexual  troubles,  but  which  are  also  produced  alone  in  men 
who  are  otherwise  normal,  throw  much  light  on  the  relation  of 
the  momentary  mental  state  of  man  to  his  sexual  appetite  and 
the  accomplishment  of  coitus. 

I  do  not  know  under  what  heading  the  following  case  should 
be  placed: 

A  young  man  of  steady  habits,  and  normal  sexual  appetite, 
had  always  abstained  from  sexual  connection  and  masturbation. 
He  only  had  emissions  during  sleep.  The  latter  were  accom- 
panied by  erotic  dreams,  but  never  produced  an  orgasm,  while 
disagreeable  sensations  occurred  on  waking.  He  married  for  love 
a  woman  in  whom  the  hymen  was  resistant,  and  vaginismus 
occurred  on  each  attempt  at  coitus.  These  attempts  failed  con- 
stantly in  spite  of  the  most  intense  love  and  the  most  ardent 
desire  for  children  on  both  sides.  The  husband's  erections  were 
incomplete,  and  he  never  had  an  ejaculation  except  when  asleep. 
By  the  aid  of  hypnotism  I  succeeded  in  strengthening  his  erec- 
tions, and  an  operation  on  the  hymen  cured  his  wife's  vaginismus. 
The  first  attempts  at  coitus  were  not  immediately  successful,  but 
suggestion  acted  after  a  time;  finally  the  attempts  were  crowned 
with  success,  and  followed  by  a  first  and  second  pregnancy.  The 
children  were  healthy. 

In  this  case,  the  impotence,  which  had  lasted  about  eighteen 
months,  did  not  affect  the  mutual  love  and  respect  of  the  couple, 
because  the  husband's  affection  combined  with  his  sexual  appe- 
tite had  sufficed  for  the  happiness  of  a  woman  who  was  on  the 
whole  normal. 

This  case  is  very  instructive  in  several  ways,  for  it  gives  a  good 
example  of  the  nature  of  the  sexual  instinct  in  woman;  it  also 
shows  how   the   auto-suggestion  of   emissions  occurring  only 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  221 

during  sleep  may  hinder  copulation  in  the  waking  state.     But 
such  phenomena  are  extremely  rare. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  say  that  there  is  no  true  impotence 
in  woman;  but  the  same  mental  paralysis  may  occur  as  in  man, 
preventing  orgasm  and  often  causing  disgust. 

SEXUAL   PARADOXY 

By  this  term  is  understood  the  appearance  of  the  sexual 
appetite,  or  even  of  love,  at  an  abnormal  age.  Infantile  para- 
doxy  is,  however,  very  different  to  senile  paradoxy. 

Infantile  paradoxy  must  not  be  confounded  with  certain  forms 
of  masturbation,  to  which  we  shall  return.  Some  races,  es- 
pecially in  the  tropics,  have  a  much  earlier  sexual  development 
than  others;  depending  more  on  race  than  climate.  In  some, 
sexual  maturity  occurs  in  boys  between  the  age  of  twelve 
and  fourteen,  and  in  girls  between  nine  and  ten  years,  while  in 
others  the  former  are  hardly  mature  at  twenty  and  the  latter 
before  seventeen  or  eighteen.  Again,  individual  variations  may 
be  very  great  in  the  same  race.  But,  owing  to  hereditary 
satyriasis  or  nymphomania,  we  sometimes  in  our  own  country 
see  sexual  appetite  appear  in  children  of  eight,  seven,  or  even 
three  or  four  years  of  age,  in  a  spontaneous  manner  without  any 
external  excitation.  Lombroso  mentions  the  case  of  a  girl  three 
years  old  who  had  an  irresistible  tendency  to  onanism.  I  have 
myself  observed  the  two  following  cases: 

(1).  A  boy  of  seven  years,  the  son  of  a  brothel  keeper,  and  a 
kind  of  satyr  who  committed  great  excesses,  began  spontaneously 
to  attack  little  girls  of  his  own  age  or  even  younger.  He  was  so 
artful  that  all  means  failed  in  curing  him  of  this  habit,  and  he 
was  sent  to  an  asylum  of  which  I  was  superintendent.  He  then 
tried  to  renew  his  exploits  with  a  boy  older  than  himself.  He  was 
also  idle  and  disposed  to  all  kinds  of  folly.  He  did  not,  however, 
attempt  to  copulate  with  adult  women  or  men.  His  sexual  or- 
gans were  absolutely  infantile,  without  any  abnormal  develop- 
ment.    His  paradoxy  was  thus  of  cerebral  origin. 

(2).  A  girl  of  nine  years  began  to  excite  the  genital  organs  of 
all  the  boys  of  her  own  age  or  younger,  that  she  could  lay  hold  of. 
She  did  this  in  such  a  cunning  way  that  she  succeeded  in  killing 
by  inches  one  of  her  youngest  brothers  and  severely  injured  the 


222  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

urethra  and  bladder  of  another  before  she  was  found  out.     She 
also  copulated  with  a  boy  older  than  herself. 

In  this  case  I  was  told  that  there  was  no  hereditary  taint,  but 
such  statements  prove  nothing.  Individuals  of  this  kind  gener- 
ally become  criminals,  or  else  give  themselves  up  to  masturba- 
tion or  prostitution. 

Occasionally,  the  sexual  appetite  may  be  preserved  for  a  long 
time  in  old  men,  or  reappear  for  a  time,  with  or  without  sexual 
power,  but  as  a  rule,  the  paradoxy  of  old  men  is  the  initial 
symptom  of  senile  dementia.  As  this  disorder  is  only  com- 
mencing when  sexual  excitation  occurs,  it  is  not  noticed,  and 
the  patient  is  regarded  as  an  immoral,  vicious  or  criminal  indi- 
vidual. I  have  seen  a  patient  of  this  kind  masturbate  openly 
in  an  asylum,  so  great  was  his  sexual  excitation. 

In  most  old  men  affected  with  senile  sexual  paradoxy,  the 
sexual  appetite  is  directed  toward  very  young  girls  or  even  chil- 
dren, wliich  aggravates  their  case  from  the  legal  point  of  view. 
Very  often  this  appetite  is  perverted  and  assumes  one  of  the 
forms  we  shall  speak  of  later.  Some  of  these  old  men  are  still 
capable,  but  others  are  not,  and  then  their  excitation  only  mani- 
fests itself  in  manipulations  of  the  genital  organs,  etc.  Such 
cases  play  a  considerable  part  in  law  scandals.  The  patient  (for 
so  he  must  be  called)  often  becomes  the  victim  of  blackmail  on 
the  part  of  vicious  girls  or  children,  incited  by  unnatural  parents. 
One  often  sees  also,  at  the  onset  of  senile  dementia,  an  old  man 
become  enamored  of  some  prostitute  or  adventuress  who  makes  ; 
him  marry  her  and  thus  takes  possession  of  his  fortune.  The 
law  generally  makes  the  matter  valid,  under  the  pretext  that 
individual  liberty  must  be  respected.  Such  sanction  consists  in 
reality  in  sacrificing  a  patient  for  the  profit  of  a  female  swindler.  . 

SEXUAL   ANESTHESIA    OR    CONGENITAL   ABSENCE    OF   THE 

SEXUAL   SENSE    AND    APPETITE  ' 

Sexual  sensations  are  so  intimately  connected  with  the  sexual 
appetite  that  it  is  difficult  to  separate  them.  No  doubt  in  the 
adult  a  certain  degree  of  sexual  appetite  may  exist  without  any 
voluptuous  sensation,  but  this  is  a  secondary  phenomenon. 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  223 

Complete  sexual  anaesthesia  is  very  rare  in  man;  it  is  not  a 
special  form  of  anomaly,  but  the  reduction  to  zero  of  a  normal 
sensation  and  the  appetite  which  corresponds  to  it.  The  char- 
acteristic feature  of  these  cases  is  that,  contrary  to  what  occurs 
in  eunuchs  and  cryptorchids,  not  only  the  testicles,  but  all  the 
correlative  sexual  attributes  (the  beard,  voice,  character,  etc.) 
are  normally  developed,  and  are  in  no  way  inverted  as  in  homo- 
sexual individuals.  Sexual  anaesthesia  causes  no  more  suffering 
than  color-blindness,  but  like  the  latter  it  occasions  individual 
troubles  resulting  from  misunderstanding.  The  sexual  anaes- 
thetic, having  a  more  or  less  false  idea  of  marriage,  often  marries 
in  complete  ignorance,  and  the  results  are  then  disastrous,  thanks 
to  our  laws  and  customs. 

In  women,  sexual  anaesthesia  is  very  common.  Krafft-Ebing 
is  wrong  in  maintaining  that  in  all  such  cases  the  women  are 
always  neurotic.  A  number  of  absolutely  normal  and  intelligent 
women  remain  all  their  life  completely  cold  from  the  sexual 
point  of  view,  apart  from  the  normally  passive  character  of  the 
female  sex  in  coitus.  It  is  rather  the  very  libidinous  woman 
who  is  pathological. 

We  have  seen  that  the  normal  sexual  sentiment  of  woman  is 
developed  rather  in  the  direction  of  love,  and  desire  for  childi'en. 
Erotic  men  often  complain  of  the  sexual  coldness  of  theii'  wives, 
which  is  disagreeable  to  them;  for  pleasure  in  one  sex  excites 
and  completes  that  of  the  other.  Cold  women  submit  to  coitus 
as  a  duty,  or  at  any  rate  only  mentally  enjoy  their  husband's 
caresses. 

Sexual  anaesthesia  occurs  normally  in  old  age.  It  may  occur 
at  an  earlier  age,  owing  to  destruction  or  atrophy  of  the  sexual 
glands,  great  excesses,  or  on  the  contrary,  extreme  continence. 
Certain  diseases  and  psychoses  may  also  cause  it. 

The  following  are  a  few  examples  of  sexual  anaesthesia: 

(1).  A  normally  built  man,  of  high  culture  and  moral  sense, 
was  affected  with  complete  sexual  anaesthesia  since  birth.  He 
occasionally  had  nocturnal  emissions,  and  also  matutinal  erec- 
tions, but  no  erotic  images.  When  he  arrived  at  mature  age  he 
had  no  idea  of  sexual  intercourse,  and  was  completely  indifferent 
to  everything  concerning  sexuality.     He  did  not  even  compre- 


224  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

hend  anything  relating  to  sexual  affairs,  and  his  replies  reminded 
me  of  conversations  with  color-blind  persons  on  the  distinction 
between  red  and  green!  According  to  his  ideas,  marriage  was  an 
intellectual  and  sentimental  union  in  which  children  came  by 
themselves! 

He  eventually  married  a  young  girl,  well  educated  but  extremely 
prudish.  One  can  imagine  the  revelations  which  followed!  The 
wife,  who  had  a  strong  desire  for  children,  soon  perceived  the 
sexual  blindness  of  her  husband.  She  became  very  unhappy 
and  bitterly  reproached  him.  The  husband  then  became  aware 
that  there  should  be  something  in  marriage  which  he  had  not 
taken  into  account;  but  the  explanations  of  coitus  by  the  medical 
man  were  useless,  and  hypnotic  suggestion  was  incapable  of  pro- . 
ducing  the  least  sexual  sensation. 

In  spite  of  all  this,  the  husband  was  full  of  respect  and  affection 
for  his  wife,  but  was  incapable  of  simulating  the  least  sexual 
appetite.  As  regards  the  wife,  what  she  required  was  not  coitus, 
which  was  simply  a  means  to  an  end,  but  children.  However,  her 
prudery  made  her  prefer  this  state  of  things  to  a  divorce,  which 
would  create  scandal.  We  may  notice  that  in  such  cases  erec- 
tions are  only  produced  mechanically  during  sleep,  which  renders 
coitus  impossible. 

(2).  A  timid  but  vain  young  man  of  retiring  habits,  sexually 
cold,  had  occasional  nocturnal  emissions  sometimes  accom- 
panied by  slightly  erotic  dreams.  Although  better  informed  than 
the  preceding  case  on  sexual  relations,  his  sexual  appetite  was 
almost  entirely  absent,  and  he  regarded  marriage  as  a  purely 
intellectual  alliance.  He  married  an  intelligent  and  passionate 
young  girl  whose  sexual  appetite  was  strongly  developed,  and  at 
once  began  to  treat  her  with  great  coldness,  as  a  kind  of  domestic 
servant. 

The  wife's  family  were  in  favor  of  divorce,  but  having  pity  on 
the  husband,  sent  him  to  me  for  advice.  I  explained  the  matter 
to  him,  made  him  understand  that  the  fault  was  entirely  on  his 
side,  and  that  his  first  duty  was  to  show  affection  for  his  wife,  or 
if  not,  to  accept  divorce.  The  effect  was  purely  psychical,  and 
from  this  moment  he  became  amiable  and  affectionate  toward 
his  wife.  This  was  sufficient  to  cause  the  wife  to  give  up  the  idea 
of  divorce.  I  then  told  her  that,  on  account  of  her  husband's 
timidity  and  anomaly,  the  only  thing  to  do  was  to  reverse  their 
roles,  and  for  her  to  make  the  sexual  advances.  I  have  not  heard 
anything  more  from  this  singular  couple. 


SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY  225 

(3).  A  young  man  who  had  never  had  sexual  connection  before 
marriage,  in  spite  of  a  strong  sexual  appetite,  made  the  acquaint- 
ance of  an  intelligent  young  girl  of  excellent  character.  Marriage 
followed,  and  the  wife  was  loyal  to  her  husband,  but  remained 
sexually  cold.  She  was  insensible  to  coitus  and  only  regarded  it 
as  a  disagreeable  complement  of  love.  In  spite  of  this  she  was 
fond  of  caresses,  devoted  to  her  husband,  and  had  several  children. 

(4).  An  intelligent  and  cultured  man,  normal  from  the  sexual 
point  of  view,  who  had  frequented  prostitutes  in  his  youth,  but 
not  excessively,  married  a  rather  nervous  but  apparently  very 
amorous  young  woman.  The  marriage  night  produced  on  her 
the  effect  of  a  cold  douche,  and  coitus  offended  and  horrified  her. 
The  husband  in  his  discomfiture  took  patience;  but  his  love, 
which  was  never  very  strong,  became  shattered.  To  avoid  all 
scandal  each  of  the  conjoints  practiced  dissimulation  and  adapted 
themselves  more  or  less  to  each  other.  The  wife  allowed  coitus, 
the  husband  tolerated  her  coldness.  vSeveral  children  were  born, 
but  the  family  was  unhappy,  and  after  a  few  years  divorce  put 
an  end  to  it. 


SEXUAL   HYPERESTHESIA,    OR    EXAGGERATION    OF   THE 
SEXUAL  APPETITE 

This  anomaly  may  be  congenital,  for  example,  in  the  sexual 
paradoxy  of  children.  Every  one  knows  the  Don  Juans  and 
Messalinas  with  their  insatiable  appetites.  These  types  of  sexual 
hyperaesthesia  are  certainly  less  frequent  and  more  abnormal 
in  women  than  in  men,  but  the  intensity  is  as  great  or  greater. 

Sexual  hyperaesthesia  manifests  itself  by  desires  excited  by 
every  sensorial  perception  relating  to  the  opposite  sex,  or  simply 
by  objects  which  recall  it  to  the  imagination;  so  that  fetichism 
plays  a  great  part  in  this  condition.  The  feeling  of  satiety  is 
hardly  experienced  at  all,  or  only  for  a  short  time  after  each 
orgasm.  Nymphomaniacs  and  satyrs  are  possessed  by  an  insar- 
tiable  sexual  desire,  often  associated  with  certain  sensations  of 
anguish.  This  hyperaesthesia,  even  when  it  is  not  hereditary, 
may  be  developed  up  to  a  certain  point  by  continued  or  repeated 
artificial  excitations. 

In  women  it  is  during  or  after  menstruation  that  the  sexual 
appetite  and  consequently  sexual  hyperesthesia  are  generally 


226  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

strongest,  but  there  are  many  individual  variations  in  this 
respect,  and  sometimes  the  opposite  occurs. 

The  effect  of  sexual  hypersesthesia  is  to  direct  the  appetite 
toward  any  object  capable  of  satisfying  it.  Wlien  the  other 
sex  is  wanting,  masturbation  is  generally  resorted  to.  All 
mucous  membranes  (anus,  mouth,  etc.)  and  even  inanimate 
objects  may  serve  to  satisfy  the  pathologically  exalted  appetite 
of  such  individuals.  Men  most  distinguished  in  other  respects 
may  abandon  themselves  to  the  most  foolish  or  abominable 
practices. 

Animals  are  often  used  to  satisfy  the  hyperaesthetic  sexual 
appetite  in  both  sexes.  Women  introduce  all  kinds  of  objects 
into  the  vagina  to  uritate  the  clitoris.  Men  \dsit  prostitutes, 
and  become  excited  at  the  sight  of  every  woman  who  is  neither 
too  old  nor  too  repulsive.  Some  individuals  of  this  kind  are 
pursued  night  and  day  by  erotic  images,  which  may  even 
become  an  obsession  and  a  veritable  torment. 

A  further  degi'ee  of  sexual  hypersesthesia  is  called  ScUyridsis 
in  man,  and  nymphomania  in  woman.  I  have  observed  in 
women  two  very  different  varieties  of  sexual  hypersesthesia. 
In  one,  true  nymphomania,  the  subjects  are  attracted  toward 
man  bodily  and  mentally  with  an  elementary  force;  in  these 
the  whole  brain  follows  the  appetite  in  quite  a  feminine  manner. 
Other  women,  on  the  contrary,  are  di'iven  to  masturbation  by  a 
purely  peripheral  excitation;  they  have  erotic  dreams  with 
venereal  orgasms  which  torment  rather  than  please  them;  but 
they  do  not  fall  in  love  easily,  and  may  have  difficulty  in  the 
choice  of  a  husband.  Theu-  mind  alone  remains  feminine,  full 
of  tact  and  delicacy  in  its  sentiments,  while  their  lower  nerve 
centers  react  in  a  more  masculine  and  at  the  same  time  more 
pathological  maimer.  There  are  many  transitional  forms 
between  these  two  extremes. 

Sexual  hypersesthetics  are  often  unhappy,  and  consult  the 
physician  for  relief  from  the  perpetual  excitation  which  tor- 
ments them.  They  attempt  to  master  themselves  and  check 
their  appetite  in  all  ways,  and  are  sometimes  affected  with  ner- 
vous or  mental  depression.  It  is  important,  however,  to  recog- 
nize the  fact,  that  many  sexual  hypersesthetics  remain  quite 


SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY  227 

fresh  and  active,  and  attain  an  advanced  age,  provided  they 
escape  alcohol  and  venereal  disease. 

When  sexual  hypersesthesia  results  chiefly  from  artificially 
acquired  habits  it  may  often  be  cured  by  hypnotic  suggestion, 
and  establishing  self-control;  but  when  it  is  hereditary  and  very 
intense,  and  especially  when  it  is  connected  with  infantile  para- 
doxy  or  other  anomalies,  castration  may  be  the  only  efficient 
remedy.  When  it  is  chiefly  acquired,  any  strong  diversion 
which  turns  the  mind  from  sexual  preoccupation  to  other  sub- 
jects may  have  an  excellent  curative  effect.  The  most  intense 
hereditary  cases  may  constitute  a  plague  for  the  individual  and 
for  society,  and  it  is  then  that  castration  may  become  a  blessing 
by  calming  the  obsessed  patient,  by  giving  him  the  opportunity 
for  useful  occupation,  and  by  preventing  him  from  abusing  his 
fellows  and  procreating  beings  similar  to  himself. 

Nymphomaniacs  often  have  polyandrous  instincts,  and  they 
then  become  more  insatiable  than  men.  Several  cases  of  this 
kind  have  been  published  in  the  press,  and  examples  of  such 
women  are  not  rare  in  history.  When  a  woman  is  possessed  by 
passion  she  often  loses  all  sense  of  shame,  all  moral  sense  and 
all  discretion,  as  regards  the  object  of  her  desires.  She  pays  no 
attention  to  anything  which  is  opposed  to  her  passion,  but  may 
be  full  of  reserve,  tact  and  good-feeling  in  all  other  respects. 
Cases  of  this  kind,  however,  have  always  a  more  or  less  marked 
pathological  character. 

In  man,  satjnriasis  is  very  freque;it.  It  often  happens  that  a 
husband  continually  forces  his  wife  to  coitus,  even  during  men- 
struation. We  have  mentioned  already  the  case  of  an  old 
peasant  of  seventy  who  thus  abused  his  poor  old  wife.  In  such 
cases  conjugal  infidelity  very  commonly  occm's.  The  C3niicism 
of  such  individuals  may  go  so  far  that  they  have  intercourse 
with  prostitutes  or  servants  in  the  presence  of  their  wives,  or 
even  abuse  their  own  children.  The  wife  behaves  in  these  cases 
in  different  w^ays  according  to  her  character.  Many  tolerate 
everything  and  do  not  complain,  for  the  sake  of  their  chil- 
dren; others  leave  the  husband  or  divorce  hmi;  some  commit 
suicide. 

It  would  seem  quite  natural  for  nymphomaniacs  to  marry 


228  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

satyrs,  but  we  must  bear  in  mind  the  evil  results  for  posterity 
from  such  an  accumulation  of  the  sexual  appetite. 

MASTURBATION    OR    ONANISM 

The  term  onanism  is  derived  from  the  name  of  Onan,  son  of 
Juda  and  Suah  and  grandson  of  Israel.  According  to  the  Old 
Testament,  Onan's  father  wished  him  to  marry  his  brother's 
widow  and  have  children  by  her;  but  this  did  not  please  Onan, 
and  he  provoked  ejaculation  of  semen  by  friction,  in  order  to 
avoid  having  children  by  his  sister-in-law.  "This  offended  God 
who  slew  him." 

We  have  already  shown  that  in  the  child  the  sexual  appetite 
manifests  itself  in  a  kind  of  obscure  presentiment  and  vague 
sensations  in  the  genital  organs.  If  a  young  man  cannot  satisfy 
his  sexual  appetite  naturally,  the  latter  when  it  increases  in 
strength  provokes  erotic  dreams  and  nocturnal  emissions;  or 
artificial  excitation  of  the  penis  may  be  practiced  to  produce 
orgasms:    the  latter  phenomenon  is  called  masturbation. 

Masturbation  in  man  is  performed  by  friction  of  the  penis 
with  the  hand  or  against  some  soft  body.  In  the  latter  case 
especially  erotic  images  of  naked  women  or  female  sexual  organs 
is  associated  with  onanism.  This  kind  of  masturbation  may  be 
caUed  compensatory,  because  it  does  not  depend  on  an  anomaly 
of  the  sexual  appetite,  but  serves  to  satisfy  a  natural  want  by 
compensation.  There  are  a  whole  series  of  manipulations  em- 
ployed for  the  same  object,  which  constitute  the  psychic  equiva- 
lent of  compensating  masturbation.  In  remote  garrisons  and 
in  boys'  schools  the  more  libidinous  individuals  often  satisfy 
themselves  either  by  mutual  masturbation  or  by  pederasty, 
i.e.,  by  introducing  their  penis  into  the  anus  of  their  younger 
companions,  especially  those  who  are  fat  and  have  a  more  or  less 
feminine  appearance.  Sodomy,  or  copulation  with  animals, 
(cows,  goats,  etc.)  is  often  performed  with  the  same  object.  It 
is  unnecessary  to  prolong  the  enumeration;  those  we  have  men- 
tioned are  the  most  common.  Men  who  are  addicted  to  such 
practices  are  generally  considered  as  depraved  and  shamefully 
immoral,  and  great  indignation  is  shown  toward  them,  more  or 
less  hypocritically.    In  reality  they  are  often  normal  in  other 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  229 

respects,  but  simply  affected  with  sexual  hypersesthesia.  Some- 
times they  are  feeble-minded  individuals  who  have  recourse  to 
such  practices  because  they  are  derided  by  women.  Others  are 
cynics,  more  or  less  vicious  in  other  respects. 

Compensatory  mastm'bation  is  extremely  widespread,  but  it 
is  as  a  rule  neither  recognized  nor  admitted  because  it  is  easy  to 
conceal.  Although  depressing  for  those  whose  will  power  is 
overcome  by  an  excitation  which  they  cannot  conquer,  it  is 
relatively  the  least  dangerous  form  of  onanism.  At  the  most  it 
leads  to  a  certain  amount  of  nervous  and  mental  exhaustion  by 
abuse  of  the  facility  of  thus  procuring  a  venereal  orgasm.  The 
loss  of  substance  from  frequent  seminal  ejaculations  is  also  more 
or  less  weakening,  although  the  secretion  from  the  prostate 
plays  a  much  greater  part  than  the  semen.  But  what  especially 
affects  the  nervous  system,  is  the  repeated  loss  of  the  will,  and 
the  failure  of  resolutions  made  many  times  to  overcome  the 
desire  for  orgasm. 

Here,  as  elsewhere,  effect  is  too  often  confounded  with  cause. 
Because  men  of  feeble  will  power  are  addicted  to  onanism,  it  is 
imagined  that  the  latter  is  the  cause  of  the  weakness  of  will. 
In  itself,  a  seminal  ejaculation  provoked  by  masturbation  is  no 
more  dangerous  than  a  nocturnal  emission;  both  are  often  ac- 
companied by  nervous  sensations  which  are  more  disagreeable 
and  exhausting  than  normal  coitus.  I  must,  however,  point  out 
that  the  effects  of  moderate  masturbation  in  the  adult  have  been 
greatly  exaggerated,  either  by  confounding  the  effect  with  its 
cause,  or  for  mercenary  objects,  by  driving  timid  persons  to 
charlatans  or  to  prostitutes. 

The  active  sexual  appetite  of  man,  increased  by  the  accumula- 
tion of  semen,  is  absent  in  woman.  She  does  not  have  nocturnal 
emissions  accompanied  by  voluptuous  sensations  which  spon- 
taneously awaken  sexual  desire.  For  this  reason  a  pathological 
sexual  excitability  is  necessary  to  spontaneously  provoke  in 
woman  voluptuous  dreams  or  masturbation.  For  the  same 
reason  we  cannot  speak  of  compensatory  masturbation  in 
woman.  Onanism,  however,  is  not  uncommon  among  women, 
although  less  frequent  than  in  men.  It  results  either  from 
artificial   and   local  excitations,   from  bad  example,  or  from 


230  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

pathological  hypersesthesia.  ^^^len  once  the  habit  is  acquired, 
repetition  is  produced  by  the  difficulty  of  resisting  voluptuous 
desires. 

Women  perform  masturbation  by  friction  of  the  clitoris  with 
the  finger,  or  by  introducing  various  hard  and  rounded  objects 
into  the  vagina  and  imitating  the  movements  of  coitus;  often 
also  by  rubbing  the  crossed  thighs  against  each  other.  In  the 
insane,  masturbation  is  sometimes  practiced  to  an  excessive 
extent.  Some  hysterical  women  introduce  objects  into  the 
m-ethra  during  masturbation  and  cause  severe  inflammation  of 
the  bladder. 

Another  variety  of  sexual  excitation  which  is  often  substi- 
tuted for  coitus  among  women,  is  the  practice  of  mutual  licking 
of  the  clitoris  wdth  the  tongue  (cunnilingus) .  Although  not  so 
dangerous  as  has  been  maintained,  these  habits  are  aberra- 
tions of  the  sexual  appetite,  and  it  is  needless  to  say  that  every 
human  being  should  abstain  from  them  out  of  self-respect. 

The  man  who,  for  some  reason  or  another,  cannot  obtain 
normal  coitus  should  content  himself  with  noctm'nal  emissions, 
and  the  woman  with  voluptuous  dreams,  and  should  both  ab- 
stain from  active  and  voluntary  excitations.  For  my  part,  I 
consider  prostitution,  or  ''love"  which  is  bought,  as  a  variety 
of  compensatory  masturbation,  and  not  as  normal  copulation. 
Coitus  with  a  prostitute,  generally  infected  with  venereal  dis- 
ease, who  receives  new  clients  continually,  has  as  little  affinity 
with  love  as  with  the  normal  object  of  the  sexual  appetite — 
reproduction;  and  its  moral  value  is  certainly  inferior  to  that 
of  onanism. 

A  second  form  of  masturbation  occurs  in  very  young  children 
from  accidental  irritation;  in  boys  from  phimosis;  in  girls  from 
itching  due  to  worms  (oxyuris)  about  the  anus  and  vulva.  In- 
nocent as  regards  its  cause,  this  form  of  onanism  may  become 
dangerous  by  habit.  Attention  should  therefore  be  paid  to 
phimosis  and  worms,  and  the  former  treated  by  circumcision 
and  the  latter  by  the  usual  remedies. 

A  third  kind  of  masturbation  is  caused  by  example  and 
imitation.  This  often  occurs  in  schools  and  among  children  in 
general;  and  in  this  way  very  precocious  sexual  excitation  may 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  231 

develop  and  become  a  habit  difficult  to  suppress.  The  onanism 
of  young  children  is  certainly  worse  than  that  which  begins  after 
puberty;  it  not  only  renders  the  child  idle  and  bashful,  or  in- 
creases these  faults;  but  it  also  interferes  with  nutrition  and 
digestion  and  develops  a  tendency  to  sexual  perversion  and  to 
impotence.  It  often  ceases,  however,  after  careful  supervision, 
combined  with  physical  exercise  and  fresh  air,  and  direction  of 
the  attention  to  other  things.  On  the  whole,  the  danger  of  this 
form  of  onanism  has  also  been  exaggerated.  In  most  cases  it  is 
cured,  when  it  is  not  based  on  abnormal  predispositions  or  on 
an  indolent  and  feeble  character.  Love  and  normal  sexual  inter- 
course are  naturally  the  best  remedies  for  masturbation  due  to 
seduction  and  habit,  as  soon  as  the  subject  has  reached  sexual 
maturity. 

We  may  include  as  a  fourth  form  of  masturbation  the  cases  of 
paradoxy  which  we  have  mentioned  previously.  In  this  case 
onanism  is  produced  spontaneously  as  the  result  of  psycho- 
sexual  precocity  or  hereditary  pathological  satyriasis. 

With  the  exception  of  the  last  paradoxical  form  which  is  based 
on  incurable  satyriasis,  all  the  kinds  of  onanism  which  we  have 
mentioned  hitherto  can  only  be  successfully  treated  by  kindness 
and  confidence,  combined  with  work  and  direction  of  the  mind 
to  wholesome  and  attractive  subjects;  not  by  threats  or  punish- 
ment. The  new  reformatory  schools  called  Landerziehungsheime 
(Vide  Chapter  XVII)  are  an  excellent  remedy  for  onanism,  for 
they  keep  the  child  occupied  from  morning  to  night  and  hardly 
leave  him  any  time  for  bad  habits;  when  he  goes  to  bed  he  is 
too  tired  to  do  anything  but  sleep.  However,  great  prudence 
and  active  supervision  is  required  in  these  cases. 

The  fifth  class  is  constituted  by  the  onanism  of  sexual  inverts, 
and  may  be  called  essential  onanism.  This  concerns  men  whose 
sexual  appetite  is  directed  toward  their  own  sex  instead  of  the 
other.  They  are  called  homosexual,  and  mutual  onanism  is,  so 
to  speak,  the  normal  satisfaction  of  their  inverted  appetite.  We 
shall  refer  to  this  again  later  on.  While  normal  sexual  inter- 
course is  the  best  and  most  rational  remedy  for  compensatory 
masturbation,  there  is  no  question  of  it  here.  Marriage  is  the 
worst  and  most  scandalous  remedy  in  such  cases.    It  is  therefore 


232  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

of  the  greatest  importance  in  order  to  judge  of  the  nature  of  the 
masturbation,  to  inquire  into  the  kind  of  erotic  images  with 
which  it  is  associated.  If,  in  the  case  of  a  man,  the  images  are 
those  of  women,  it  is  simply  a  case  of  compensatory  masturba- 
tion; but  if  the  images  are  mascuUne,  it  is  a  case  of  sexual  in- 
version. If  masturbation  is  not  accompanied  by  any  images, 
the  question  remains  doubtful.  In  young  children  this  is  ex- 
plained by  the  fact  that  the  psycho-sexual  irradiations  are  not 
yet  developed;  but  after  puberty  the  absence  of  images  as  an 
object  of  eroticism  suggests  a  certain  anomaly  and  sometimes 
depends  on  a  latent  tendency  to  inversion. 

Relation  of  Masturbation  to  Hypochondriasis. — Some  onanists 
become  much  distressed,  and  reproach  themselves  for  having 
spoilt  their  lives  by  their  bad  habit.  They  give  way  to  lamenta- 
tions before  their  doctor  and  their  acquaintances,  wring  their 
hands  with  despair,  and  beg  every  one  to  come  to  their  aid. 
They  look  upon  themselves  as  poor  sinners  whose  lives  have  been 
ruined,  either  by  their  own  fault  or  by  others.  They  have  read 
Lamert's  "Personal  Preservation,"  or  other  sensational  books 
which  excite  both  the  fear  and  the  sexual  desire  of  weak  char- 
acters, whom  they  are  intended  to  exploit.  These  poor  devils 
believe  themselves  lost,  and  are  truly  pitiable  objects.  These 
form  the  types  which  are  paraded  as  terrible  examples  in  books 
on  onanism  which  make  timid  persons'  hair  stand  on  end. 

^Vhen  these  unfortunate  onanists  are  questioned  on  all  the 
circumstances  of  the  act  of  which  they  accuse  themselves,  we 
generally  arrive  at  the  following  results: 

We  recognize  that  we  have  to  deal  with  psychopathic  or  neu- 
rotic subjects  more  or  less  tainted  by  heredity,  timid  and  shun- 
ning their  fellows,  easily  impressed  by  imagination,  possessed 
of  unhealthy  sentiments  and  ideas;  in  fact,  h3^ochondriacs, 
predisposed  to  look  upon  every  sensation  or  slight  indisposition 
as  a  grave  disorder  threatening  their  health  or  life.  They  thus 
live  in  perpetual  anxiety.  This  mental  anomaly  has  for  a  long 
time  preceded  the  onanism,  even  if  they  have  masturbated, 
which  is  often  even  not  the  case. 

Among  the  numerous  patients  of  this  kind  that  I  have  treated, 
there  were  many  who  had  simply  had  nocturnal  emissions  since 


SEXUAL  EVOLUTION  233 

puberty,  but  they  regarded  themselves  as  lost  men  through 
masturbation!  Many  others  no  doubt  practice  compensatory 
masturbation,  generally  because  their  timid  nature  prevents 
them  from  frequenting  prostitutes,  or  committing  other  sexual 
excesses,  while  the  way  in  which  they  analyze  their  sensations 
easily  leads  them  to  onanism.  On  the  other  hand,  they  are 
generally  so  afraid  that  they  do  not  give  way  to  excessive  mas- 
turbation, perhaps  only  once  or  twice  a  week  or  even  less  often, 
so  that  the  normal  frequency  of  coitus,  according  to  Luther,  is 
often  not  attained  and  seldom  exceeded.  Among  these  persons 
we  find  few  precocious  or  excessive  onanists,  I  admit,  however, 
that  a  hypochondriacal  constitution  predisposes  somewhat  to 
onanism. 

But,  what  I  wish  to  lay  stress  upon,  is  that  the  onanists  who 
are  full  of  lamentation  and  self-reproach  are  neither  the  most 
numerous  nor  those  who  commit  the  greatest  excess.  The 
worst  onanists,  those  who  provoke  several  ejaculations  daily, 
belong  to  the  category  of  sexual  hypersesthetics.  These  have 
not  the  classical  aspect  attributed  to  them  by  tradition;  they 
are  not  pale  and  terrified  creatures,  but  rather  lewd  individuals 
who  are  early  transformed  into  impudent  Don  Juans.  They 
may  be  as  courageous,  as  clever  and  as  strong  as  others  and  yet 
be  disposed  to  all  kinds  of  evil  tricks  and  follies.  It  is,  therefore, 
not  true,  as  is  so  often  said,  that  it  is  possible  to  recognize  a 
masturbator  by  his  face  or  manner. 

These  excessive  onanists  no  doubt  do  themselves  harm  in 
various  ways,  but  the  great  error  of  taking  sexual  hypochon- 
driasis for  the  type  of  onanists,  is  to  confound  cause  with  effect. 
Sexual  hypochondriasis  is  in  no  way  the  effect  of  onanism,  but 
precedes  it,  and  onanism  is  rather  its  effect,  or  is  simply  asso- 
ciated with  it.  It  is  obvious  that  onanism,  by  its  depressing 
effect,  aggravates  a  mind  beset  with  hypochondriacal  anxieties. 

It  results  from  these  facts,  first,  that  a  sexual  hypochondriac 
should  be  treated  as  a  hypochondriac  and  not  as  an  onanist; 
secondly,  that  the  worst  slaves  of  masturbation  are  not  to  be 
looked  for  among  pale  and  dejected  individuals. 

Among  women,  especially  young  girls,  hypochondriasis  is  not 
common  and  cases  of  sexual  hypochondi'iacs  who  accuse  them- 


234  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

selves  of  masturbating  are  rare  among  them.  Women  who  mas- 
turbate generally  keep  their  secret  and  are  apparently  very  little 
affected  by  it.  However,  onanism  does  them  nearly  as  much 
harm  as  men;  it  is  true  they  have  no  loss  of  semen,  but  the 
repetition  and  intensity  of  the  nervous  irritation  are  greater  than 
in  man,  and  it  is  this  which  causes  most  exhaustion.  In  spite 
of  this,  it  is  curious  to  observe  that  women  who  masturbate  are 
generally  less  ashamed  than  men,  and  are  apparently  less  de- 
pressed by  it.  We  must  bear  in  mind  that  the  loss  of  semen  by 
masturbation  has  in  man  a  peculiarly  depressing  effect,  for  it 
lacks  its  object  and  represents  an  absolutely  abnormal  satis- 
faction of  the  sexual  appetite. 

It  may  be  objected  that  this  difference  is  due  to  another 
cause,  that  women  who  masturbate  have  less  moral  tone  and 
are  especially  depraved  individuals.  I  agree  that  this  is  often 
the  case,  but  far  from  always.  The  intensity  of  the  sexual 
excitability  in  women  has  nothing  in  common  with  their  char- 
acter; it  may  be  associated  with  high  intelligence,  with  high 
moral  and  aesthetic  qualities,  and  even  with  a  strong  will.  On 
the  other  hand,  deficiency  in  moral  sense  and  will  may  occur 
with  sexual  frigidity,  and,  as  we  have  already  seen,  may  lead  to 
sexual  excess  without  any  voluptuous  sensation,  in  accordance 
with  the  peculiarities  of  feminine  sentiment.  These  facts  show 
how  complex  are  the  causes  of  a  given  effect  in  the  sexual 
domain. 

PERVERSIONS  OF  THE  SEXUAL  APPETITE  OR  PARESTHESIA  OF 
THE  SEXUAL  SENSATION 

We  are  here  concerned  with  sexual  appetite  provoked  by 
inadequate  objects.  Krafft-Ebing  having  made  a  profound 
study  of  this  question  we  shall  follow  his  subdivisions  in  the  main. 

Perverted  Sexiial  Appetite  Directed  Toward  the  Opposite  Sex. — 
(A.)  Sadism  (association  of  sexual  desire  with  cruelty  and 
violence).  History  shows  us  a  number  of  celebrated  persons 
who  satisfied  their  sexual  desire  by  making  martjTS  of  then- 
victims,  up  to  complete  butchery.  The  most  atrocious  types 
of  this  kind  are  perhaps  assassins  such  as  "Jack  the  Ripper," 
who  lie  in  wait  for  their  victims  like  cats,  pounce  on  them,  revel 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  235 

in  their  terror,  assassinate  them  by  inches,  and  wallow  volup- 
tuously in  their  blood. 

The  term  sadism  is  derived  from  the  celebrated  Marquis  de 
Sade,  a  French  author,  whose  obscene  romances  overflow  with 
cruel  voluptuousness.  Certain  reminiscences  of  sadism  are  com- 
mon both  in  man  and  woman.  At  the  moment  of  highest  exci- 
tation in  coitus  it  is  not  uncommon  for  one  or  other  of  the  couple 
to  bite  or  scratch  in  the  ecstasy  of  their  amorous  embraces. 
Lombroso  remarks  on  the  brutal  excesses  of  soldiers  when  ex- 
cited after  battle.  This  is  so  to  speak  an  inversion  of  sadism 
as  regards  cause  and  effect.  After  the  exaltation  of  combat, 
that  of  desire  possesses  the  mind,  as  in  the  inverse  direction 
exaltation  of  desire  gives  rise  in  certain  cases  to  that  of  violence 
and  thirst  for  blood. 

Krafft-Ebing  draws  attention  to  the  fact  that  love  and  anger 
are  the  two  most  violent  effective  conditions,  and  are  at  the  same 
time  the  two  powers  which  provoke  the  most  motor  discharges. 
This  explains  why  they  may  be  associated  in  the  delirium  of 
unbridled  passions.  To  these  facts  is  added  an  atavistic  relic 
of  the  instinct  of  man's  ancestors,  the  males  of  whom  fought 
furiously  to  conquer  the  females  by  violence,  which  provoked 
desire  in  them,  after  the  subjection  of  the  object  of  their  sexual 
appetite.  True  sadism  can,  however,  only  become  effective 
by  the  combination  of  two  causes:  (1)  by  an  exalted  and  abso- 
lutely pathological  association  of  sexual  desire  with  a  sanguinary 
instinct,  and  with  the  desire  to  ill  treat  and  overcome  a  victim; 
(2)  by  an  almost  absolute  absence  of  moral  sense  and  sympathy, 
combined  with  a  violent  and  egoistic  sexual  passion.  It  is 
evident  that  the  slight  more  or  less  sadic  impulses  which  may 
involuntarily  occur  in  the  performance  of  normal  coitus,  are 
quite  exempt  from  the  second  of  these  causes. 

Krafft-Ebing  maintains  that  sadism  is  usually,  if  not  always, 
congenital  and  hereditary.  Sadism  is  for  a  long  time  restrained 
by  fear,  education  or  moral  sentiments.  It  is  only  gradually, 
when  normal  coitus  cannot  procure  for  the  perverted  sexual 
appetite  the  satisfaction  it  requires,  that  the  sadist  gives  way 
to  his  passion;  this  gives  the  latter  a  false  appearance  of 
acquired  vice. 


236  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  highest  degi'ee  of  sadism  leads  to  assassination.  In  this 
way  human  tigers  entice  young  girls  into  a  wood  and  cut  them 
to  pieces.  Some  begin  by  forcing  them  to  coitus,  after  frighten- 
ing them,  or  half  strangling  them;  others  masturbate  in  their 
ripped  up  entrails.  But  some  others  have  no  desire  for  coitus, 
nor  anything  resembling  it,  their  desire  being  satisfied  only  by 
the  sight  of  the  terror,  suffering  and  blood  of  their  victim, 
whom  they  torture  before  killing.  Others  again  associate 
desire  with  the  rage  of  a  wild  beast  to  such  a  point  that  they 
swallow  parts  of  their  victim's  body  and  drink  the  blood. 

Sadists  become  experts  in  the  art  of  assassination  without  dis- 
covery. The  cynicism  with  which  some  of  them  have  described 
their  sensations  shows  their  cold  indifference  toward  the  tragic 
and  the  horrible.  Krafft-Ebing  describes  a  series  of  atrocious 
types  of  this  kind,  and  unfortunately  the  press  and  the  criminal 
law  courts  continually  give  us  fresh  examples.  Some  sadists 
assassinate  children,  others  men,  when  their  perversion  is  com- 
plicated with  pederasty  or  sexual  inversion.  (The  story  of 
Bluebeard  is  probably  based  on  the  successive  crimes  of  a  sadic.) 

Sadists  do  not  always  confine  their  attacks  to  living  people; 
some  of  them  are  necrophiles,  who  violate  dead  bodies  and  cut 
them  in  pieces:  others  again  kill  animals,  whose  sufferings  and 
blood  serve  to  satisfy  their  desires. 

Some  sadists  satisfy  themselves  by  flogging  prostitutes  or 
pricking  them  till  they  bleed,  while  others  prefer  to  martyrize 
their  victims  slowly,  and  thus  procure  the  maximum  of  pleasure. 
Others  again  are  contented  with  scenes  symbolical  of  servitude, 
in  which  women  are  compelled  to  adore  and  supplicate  them, 
etc.  The  humiliation  of  women  takes  part  in  the  sadist  appe- 
tite of  man  and  often  degenerates  into  fetichism.  Simple  imagi- 
nation in  which  he  plays  the  part  of  a  tyrant,  and  which  are  com- 
plicated with  onanism  or  normal  coitus,  often  suffice  to  satisfy 
the  sadist.  Some  sadists  soil  themselves  with  the  excrements 
of  the  woman  they  "love!"  When  sadism  assumes  the  charac- 
ter of  a  symbol  or  a  fetich,  seminal  ejaculation  and  sensation 
generally  occur  without  contact  with  the  woman's  body. 

Sadism  is  more  common  in  men,  but  occurs  also  in  women. 
Messalina  and  Catherine  de  Medici  are  historical  examples.    The 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  237 

latter  had  her  maids  of  honor  flogged  before  her  eyes,  and  said 
she  was  bathing  in  roses  when  she  witnessed  the  massacre  of 
the  Huguenots.  Women  in  whom  sadism  takes  a  milder  form 
are  contented  with  biting  a  man  till  he  bleeds,  during  coitus. 

Sadism  appears  to  be  most  often  an  effect  of  hereditary 
alcoholic  blastophthoria. 

(B).  Masochism  (association  of  sexual  desire  with  submission 
to  cruelty  and  violence).  The  term  masochism  is  applied  by 
Krafft-Ebing  to  a  form  of  sexual  perversion  described  by  Sacher- 
Masoch  in  several  of  his  romances.  Masochism  is  exactly  the 
converse  of  sadism.  The  desire  of  the  masochist  is  excited  by 
humiliation,  submission,  and  even  blows;  the  pain  he  feels 
when  he  is  flogged  gives  him  intense  pleasure.  Like  sadism,  this 
perversion  may  be  incomplete.  When  it  is  complete  the  maso- 
chist is  affected  with  psychic  impotence  and  is  incapable  of  nor- 
mal coitus.  Ill-treatment  and  humiliation  are  alone  capable  of 
causing  him  erections,  seminal  ejaculations  and  pleasure.  How- 
ever, comedies  representing  his  humiliation,  or  corresponding 
efforts  of  his  imagination  may  succeed  in  replacing  the  reality 
and  procure  the  desired  effect. 

Like  sadism,  masochism  is  hereditary  and  congenital.  When 
the  first  sexual  sensations  are  produced,  the  masochist  child 
sighs  for  a  dominating  woman  who  will  illtreat  him  and  make 
him  her  slave.  His  imagination  is  transported  by  the  idea  of 
being  on  his  knees,  of  being  trodden  under  foot,  or  bound  in 
chains  by  her,  etc.  The  cruel  heroine  of  his  heart  must  ridicule 
and  humiliate  him  as  much  as  possible.  Corporal  punishment 
with  a  beneficial  object  does  not  satisfy  the  true  masochist. 
Rousseau,  in  his  "Confessions,"  reveals  the  sexual  feelings  of  the 
masochist. 

It  is  remarkable  how  far  poetic  conceptions  are  combined  with 
the  perversion  of  sexual  sensations  in  masochists,  leading  them 
to  dream  of  an  imperious  and  cruel  woman  to  whom  they  devote 
a  love  as  humble  as  it  is  exalted,  while  normal  coitus  causes  them 
no  pleasure,  and  can  sometimes  only  be  accomplished  with  the 
aid  of  masochistic  images.  These  images  may  also  be  accom- 
panied by  onanism.  It  is  very  common  for  masochists  to  be- 
come flagellants,  and  to  be  flogged  or  trampled  on  by  prostitutes. 


238  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

But  it  often  happens  that  they  only  feel  pain  instead  of  pleasure, 
when  the  comedy  which  they  have  started  appears  revealed  in 
all  its  absurdity,  showing  them  a  woman  paid  to  illtreat  them, 
and  not  doing  it  for  her  own  enjoyment.  Some  masochists  take 
pleasure  in  imagining  themselves  assassinated  by  a  woman,  or 
even  cut  in  pieces.  Others  organize  theatrical  performances  in 
which  imperious  women  play  the  part  of  judges,  before  whom 
they  appear  naked  and  are  flogged  and  condemned  to  death. 
Others  again  are  contented  with  imagining  these  performances, 
combining  them  sometimes  with  coitus  or  masturbation. 

Krafft-Ebing  is  no  doubt  right  in  considering  the  lucubrations 
of  the  poet  Baudelaire,  and  his  necrophile  imagination  of  his 
own  carrion  hung  on  a  gibbet  and  devoured  by  vultures,  as  a 
mixture  of  sadism  and  masochism.  He  sought  out  the  most 
repulsive  women  of  all  races,  Chinese,  negresses,  dwarfs,  giants, 
or  modern  women  as  artificial  as  possible,  to  satisfy  his  patholo- 
gical instinct.  The  following  case  quoted  by  Krafft-Ebing  from 
Hammond,  is  typical: 

A  married  man  and  father  of  several  children  was  sometimes 
subject  to  attacks  during  which  he  visited  a  brothel,  where  he 
chose  two  or  three  of  the  fattest  women.  He  stripped  the  upper 
part  of  his  body,  lay  on  the  floor,  crossed  his  hands,  shut  his  eyes 
and  ordered  the  women  to  tread  wdth  all  their  force  on  his  chest, 
neck  and  face.  Sometimes  he  required  a  still  heavier  woman  or 
more  cruel  manipulations.  After  two  or  three  hours  he  was 
satisfied,  paid  the  women  liberally  and  regaled  them  with  wine, 
rubbed  his  bruises,  dressed  himself  and  returned  to  his  office,  to 
repeat  this  singular  performance  a  week  later. 

Krafft-Ebing  describes,  as  masked  masochism,  certain  cases  of 
fetichism  in  which  the  nature  of  the  fetich  which  causes  sexual 
excitation  and  the  manner  in  which  it  is  used  prove  a  desire  for 
maltreatment  and  humiliation  by  a  woman.  This  is  especially 
the  case  with  shoe  and  foot  fetichism.  Among  those  who  are 
affected  with  this  pathological  specialty,  voluptuous  sensations 
are  produced  when  they  are  trodden  on  by  a  woman's  shoes  or 
feet.  They  even  dream  of  women's  shoes  and  feet.  Some  of 
them  put  nails  in  their  shoes,  the  pain  of  which  gives  them  volup- 
tuous sensations.    Lastly,  the  shoes  alone,  especially  when  they 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  239 

touch  the  penis,  are  sufficient  to  excite  their  sexual  desire. 
Other  masked  masochists  are  excited  by  the  secretions  or  even 
excrements  of  women. 

I  have  been  consulted  by  a  typical  masochist,  who,  being  very 
religious,  was  convinced  that  his  perverted  sexual  appetite  was 
a  sin.  He  therefore  married,  thinking  that  God  and  repentance 
would  change  him.  But  when  married  he  naturally  found  him- 
self absolutely  impotent  and  incapable  of  coitus. 

If  masochism  is  common  in  men,  it  is  produced  in  women 
rather  as  an  exaggeration  in  the  domain  of  her  normal  sexual 
sensations,  for  it  is  to  a  great  extent  in  harmony  with  her  pas- 
sive sexual  role.  Woman  does  not  like  the  weak  man  who  sub- 
mits to  her.  She  prefers  a  master  on  whom  she  can  lean.  In 
fact,  normal  women  do  not  like  their  husbands  to  ask  advice 
from  them  too  often,  nor  to  be  wanting  in  decision  and  self- 
confidence.  On  the  contrary  they  Hke  them  to  be  firm  and 
even  somewhat  imperious,  provided  they  are  not  unkind.  It  is 
notorious  that  many  women  like  to  be  beaten  by  their  husbands, 
and  are  not  content  unless  this  is  done.  This  appears  to  be 
especially  common  in  Russia.  Accentuated  forms  of  patho- 
logical masochism  are,  however,  rare  in  women. 

Masochism  presents  a  certain  analogy  with  the  religious 
ecstasy  of  fakirs  and  flagellants  who  flog  themselves.  These  in- 
dividuals appear  to  become  exalted  in  a  kind  of  ecstatic  con- 
vulsion with  the  idea  of  pleasing  God  or  gaining  Heaven  by 
their  martp-dom.  We  may  add  that,  like  sadism,  masochism 
occurs  in  sexual  inverts,  but  always  having  the  same  sex  for  its 
object.  I  know  an  old  gentleman  whose  only  pleasure  con- 
sisted in  receiving  a  shower  of  blows:  as  a  boy,  like  Rousseau 
he  tried  by  all  kinds  of  ruses  to  obtain  corporal  punishment: 
when  he  grew  up  this  became  impossible  and  he  devised  tricks 
to  urge  schoolboys  to  fight  each  other,  pretending  to  be  angry 
and  exciting  their  spirit  of  contradiction:  the  boys  then  pre- 
tended to  fight  him,  and  this  sufficed  for  the  rest  of  his  life  to 
excite  erections  and  seminal  ejaculations.  This  gentleman  was 
a  lawyer  and  told  me  his  history,  hoping  that  suggestion  might 
cm'e  him. 

The  eroticism  produced  by  submission  to  pain  and  humilia- 


240  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

tion  is  often  blended  with  that  produced  by  performing  acts  of 
cruelty.  These  mixtures  of  sadism  and  masochism  have  been 
investigated  by  Schrenk  Notzing,  who  concludes  that  they  are 
intimately  related. 

Fetichism  (production  of  voluptuous  sensations  by  contact 
with  or  by  the  sight  of  certain  portions  of  the  body  or  clothes 
of  woman).  We  have  already  mentioned  this  symptom  and 
have  seen  the  part  it  plays  in  some  forms  of  masochism.  A 
masked  form  of  fetichism  forms  part  of  the  normal  sexual  appe- 
tite, in  the  sense  that  certain  parts  of  the  body  or  clothes,  certain 
odors,  etc.,  especially  excite  the  sexual  desire  of  many  people  by 
recalling  the  individual  to  whom  they  belong.  Therefore,  parts 
of  the  body  which  normally  excite  sexual  desire — the  breasts, 
sexual  organs,  or  other  parts  of  the  body  usually  covered — can- 
not be  regarded  as  pathological  fetiches. 

The  true  fetichist  is  a  very  pathological  being,  whose  entire 
sexual  appetite,  often  with  all  its  uTadiations  in  the  higher 
sphere  of  love,  if  we  can  speak  of  love  in  such  cases,  is  limited 
to  certain  objects  connected  with  woman.  The  most  common 
fetiches  are  women's  handkerchiefs,  gloves,  velvet  or  shoes; 
or  their  hair,  hands  or  feet,  etc.  In  these  cases  the  fetich  plays 
the  essential  part,  and  is  in  no  way  associated  with  the  image 
of  a  woman.  The  fetich  is  the  sole  object  of  "  love."  The  sight 
or  touch  of  the  fetich,  the  pleasure  of  pressing  it  against  the 
heart  or  the  genital  organs,  are  alone  capable  of  producing 
erections  and  ejaculations.  There  are  even  fetichists  whose 
sexual  desire  is  only  excited  by  the  sight  of  certain  feminine 
deformities,  such  as  clubfoot,  squint,  etc.  Hairdressers,  who  mas- 
turbate after  dressing  women's  hair,  are  well-known  examples 
of  fetichism. 

Certain  feminine  costumes  may  serve  as  fetiches,  and  these 
are  kept  in  some  brothels  to  satisfy  certain  customers.  Shoe 
fetichism  is  more  common  than  that  of  clothes  or  handker- 
chiefs. Krafft-Ebing  mentions  a  typical  case  of  the  psychic  irra- 
diation of  fetichism;  the  individual  in  question  thought  it  im- 
moral and  scandalous  that  women's  shoes  should  be  exposed  in 
shop  windows.  Others  blush  when  they  see  such  things  in  the 
windows.     Fetichism  is  essentially  a  masculine  perversion,     I 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  241 

have  been  consulted  by  a  fetichist  who  all  his  life  had  only  felt 
erotic  at  the  sight  of  shoes;  later  on  he  married,  and  his  sexual 
desire  becoming  more  and  more  concentrated  on  pointed  and 
fashionable  shoes,  especially  women's,  but  also  men's,  he  could 
only  obtain  pleasure  with  his  wife  when  she  put  on  the  shoes  he 
was  in  love  with,  or  when  he  put  them  on  himself.  The  sight  of 
shoes  in  shop  windows  always  made  him  blush,  while  the  female 
body  made  no  impression  on  him.  He  could  not  buy  the  shoes 
he  desired  most,  owing  to  a  sentiment  of  shame,  and  the  sight 
of  them  was  often  sufficient  to  produce  erection  and  ejaculation. 

Exhibitionism.  There  is  a  class  of  individuals,  especially 
men,  whose  sole  sexual  desire  consists  in  masturbating  in  the 
presence  of  women.  They  lie  in  wait  behind  some  wall  or  bush, 
and  masturbate  openly  when  women  pass  that  way.  In  these 
subjects  an  orgasm  is  only  produced  when  they  are  observed  by 
women.  As  soon  as  ejaculation  has  occurred  they  fly  to  avoid 
the  police.  They  never  attempt  to  molest  the  women  whose 
presence  excites  them  to  this  performance. 

These  cases  are  not  uncommon  and  naturally  cause  much 
scandal,  so  that  the  poor  wretches  seldom  escape  the  police. 
These  unfortunate  persons  who  sometimes  hold  high  social  posi- 
tions, have  often  been  previously  convicted,  but  cannot  as  a 
rule  overcome  their  passion,  which  has  much  worse  consequences 
for  them  than  for  the  women  and  children  whom  they  frighten 
or  annoy. 

Exhibitionism  is  not  rare  among  insane  women  and  I  have 
myself  treated  two  typical  cases,  I  do  not  know  whether  it 
occurs  in  women  of  sound  mind,  but  at  all  events  they  caimot 
be  addicted  to  it  without  running  great  risk. 

Sexual  Inversion  or  Homosexual  Love. — However  shocking  or 
absurd  the  aberrations  of  the  sexual  appetite  and  its  irradiations 
may  be,  of  which  we  have  spoken  hitherto,  they  are  at  any  rate 
derived  from  originally  normal  intercourse  with  adults  of  the 
opposite  sex.  Those  we  have  now  to  deal  with  are  distinguished 
by  the  fact  that,  not  only  the  appetite  itself,  but  all  its  psychic 
irradiations  are  directed  to  the  same  sex  as  the  perverted  indi- 
vidual, the  latter  being  horrified  at  the  idea  of  genital  contact 
with  the  opposite  sex,  quite  as  much  as  a  normal  man  is  horrified 


242  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

at  the  idea  of  homosexual  union.  This  horror  is,  however,  con- 
fined to  sexual  matters,  and  in  no  way  concerns  those  of  social 
life.  It  is  therefore  a  question  of  sexual  desire  of  man  for  man, 
and  woman  for  woman. 

What  we  have  to  deal  with  here  has  no  connection  with  com- 
pensation as  in  cases  of  compensatory  masturbation  or  ped- 
erasty, which  are  practiced,  for  want  of  anything  better,  by 
individuals  whose  normal  sexual  appetite  cannot  be  satisfied 
otherwise.  When  excitation  and  desire  become  too  strong,  the 
purely  animal  (spinal)  irritation  of  the  sexual  appetite  may 
drive  a  man  or  woman  to  satisfy  themselves  by  means  which 
would  otherwise  disgust  them. 

A.  Homosexual  love  in  man.  It  seems  absurd  that  the  whole 
sexual  appetite  and  amorous  ideals  of  a  man  can  be  directed  all 
his  life  to  persons  of  his  own  sex.  This  pathological  phenome- 
non, however,  is  as  common  as  it  is  certain,  although  its  psy- 
chological and  normal  import  has  long  been  misapprehended, 
as  much  in  judicial  cu'cles  as  by  the  general  public.  It  is  the 
inverts  themselves,  aided  by  psychiatrists,  who  have  finally 
thrown  light  on  the  subject.  An  invert,  named  Ulrich,  an- 
nounced himself  publicly  as  the  apostle  of  homosexual  love, 
describing  inverts  under  the  name  of  Urnings,  a  name  which  is 
still  used  in  Germany.  Ulrich  and  his  disciples  endeavored  to 
prove  an  absurdity  by  maintaining  that  homosexuals  are  a 
special  kind  of  normal  men,  and  by  attempting  to  obtain  legal 
sanction  for  this  kind  of  love.  Ulrich  gives  the  name  Dionings 
to  men  whose  sexual  appetite  is  normal,  i.e.,  directed  toward 
women.  Such  a  pretension  appears  necessarily  ridiculous  to 
every  man  whose  sexual  sense  is  normal,  and  it  is  obviously 
absurd  to  apply  the  term  "normal"  to  a  sexual  appetite  abso- 
lutely devoid  of  its  natural  object,  procreation.  But  this  is 
quite  characteristic  of  the  sentiments  of  inverts. 

Hirschfeld,  of  Berlin,  has  recently  attempted  to  show  that 
homosexuals  constitute  a  variety  of  normal  man;  but  he  plays 
with  words  and  facts,  invoking  the  names  of  celebrated  inverts, 
and  wrongly  asserts  that  inversion  is  not  hereditary. 

From  the  first  dawn  of  sexual  feeling  in  youth,  male  inverts 
have  the  same  feehngs  as  girls  toward  other  boys.    They  feel 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  243 

the  need  for  passive  submission,  they  become  easily  enraptured 
over  novels  and  dress,  they  like  to  occupy  themselves  with  femi- 
nine pursuits,  to  dress  like  girls  and  to  frequent  women's 
societies.  They  regard  women  as  friends,  as  persons  with  whom 
they  have  a  fellow-feeling.  They  generally,  but  not  always, 
have  a  banal  sentimentalism,  they  are  fond  of  religious  forms 
and  ceremonies,  they  admire  fine  clothes  and  luxurious  apart- 
ments; they  dress  their  hair  and  ''fake"  themselves  with  a 
coquetry  which  often  exceeds  that  of  women.  They  are  not  all 
like  this,  but  one  or  other  of  these  traits  predominates  in  different 
individuals. 

Their  sexual  appetite,  usually  very  strong  and  precocious,  be- 
gins with  an  exalted  love  for  some  male  friend.  I  have  treated 
a  great  number  of  inverts  and  have  always  been  struck  with  the 
intensity  of  their  passion.  Among  other  cases,  I  may  mention 
that  of  an  invert  hospital  attendant,  who  fell  madly  in  love  with 
one  of  his  comrades  and  covered  ten  meters  of  white  tape  with 
the  name  of  his  beloved.  The  most  passionate  love  letters,  vows 
of  fidelity  till  death,  the  most  ferocious  jealousy  toward  other 
friends  of  their  beloved,  and  even  ceremonies  symbolical  of 
marriage,  are  daily  events  among  the  homosexuals. 

The  invert  does  not  so  easily  become  enamored  of  another 
invert  as  of  normal  men.  These  have  a  special  attraction  for 
him,  but  as  they  generally  repulse  him  with  disgust,  or  threaten 
to  expose  or  exploit  him,  he  is  often  obliged  to  content  himself 
with  his  fellows.  These  gentlemen  form  among  themselves  a 
secret  brotherhood,  a  kind  of  freemasonry  which  is  recognized 
by  signs. 

The  first  appearance  of  the  homosexual  appetite  with  its 
youthful  impulses,  causes  love  and  happiness  to  appear  to  the 
invert  in  a  special  aspect,  determined  by  the  inverted  irradia- 
tion of  his  sexual  appetite.  It  represents  the  aim  of  his  life  as 
an  amorous  union  with  his  beloved,  and  shapes  his  idylls,  his 
romance  and  his  ideal  to  this  end.  But  later  on,  when  his  sexual 
desire  increases  and  when  he  discovers  that  the  majority  of  men 
feel  differently  to  him,  that  the  human  race  is  reproduced  by 
the  union  of  men  and  women,  etc.,  he  becomes  unhappy.  He 
perceives  that  it  would  be  both  ridiculous  and  dangerous  to 


244  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

reveal  his  inner  feelings,  and  generally  gives  way  to  masturba- 
tion. But  all  social  barriers  which  oppose  his  appetite  only  in- 
crease his  desire,  and  he  becomes  less  and  less  able  to  dominate 
his  passion  for  certain  young  men.  The  disgust  and  indignation 
of  the  latter,  when  they  discover  that  they  are  not  the  object 
of  simple  affection  but  of  perverted  sexual  love,  are  expressed 
only  too  clearly,  and  the  poor  invert  sees  himself  condemned  to 
perpetual  torment  in  trying  to  hide  his  most  violent  desires  and 
his  most  intimate  and  ideal  aspirations,  and  finally  to  live  in 
continual  dread  of  being  betrayed  and  prosecuted.  It  is  thus 
easy  to  understand  that  he  is  happy  in  the  discovery  that  his 
fellows  form  a  secret  society,  and  he  associates  with  them  im- 
mediately, when  his  moral  sense  and  will  are  not  strong  enough 
to  be  proof  against  it. 

If  the  invert  succeeds  in  finding  a  male  lover,  he  does  not 
usually  imitate  coitus  by  introducing  his  penis  into  the  anus  of 
his  beloved,  but  contents  himself  at  first  with  mutual  mastur- 
bation. However,  the  characteristic  homosexual  experiences 
the  most  complete  pleasure  when  another  man  introduces  his 
penis  into  the  anus,  i.e.,  when  he  plays  the  part  of  what  is  called 
the  passive  pederast.     Others  prefer  to  act  as  active  pederasts. 

The  invert's  ideal  would  be  to  obtain  a  legal  hcense  for  mar- 
riage between  men;  but  they  are  not  very  constant  in  their 
love  and  are  much  inclined  to  polyandry.  Sexual  love  for 
women  inspires  them  with  contempt;  they  regard  it  as  low  and 
disgusting,  at  the  most  only  good  for  the  production  of  young 
inverts! 

Homosexual  love  has  played  a  much  greater  part  in  the 
world's  history  than  is  generally  beheved.  The  Count  de 
Platen  and  Sapho  were  inverts.  The  inverts  themselves  main- 
tain that  it  was  the  same  with  Plato,  Frederick  the  Great,  Soc- 
rates, etc.;  but  this  is  not  proved.  In  the  East  and  in  Brazil, 
homosexual  love  is  very  common. 

My  experience  agrees  \\dth  that  of  Krafft-Ebing,  that  homo- 
sexual love  is  pathological  in  nature,  and  that  nearly  all 
inverts  are  in  a  more  or  less  marked  degree  psychopaths  or 
neurotics,  whose  sexual  appetite  is  not  only  abnormal  but 
usually  also  exalted.     Insane  inverts,  such  as  King  Louis  II  of 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  245 

Bavaria,  a  great  number  of  the  insane,  affected,  for  example, 
with  Pseudologia  phantastica  (pathological  swindlers),  and  who 
are  also  homosexual,  show  the  intimate  relationship  which 
exists  between  sexual  inversion  (also  called  "  uranism  ")  and 
the  psychoses. 

I  agree  with  Rudin  that  the  psycho-pathological  phenomena 
presented  by  the  majority  of  inverts  are  primitive  and  heredi- 
tary, and  that  they  are  hardly  ever  the  effect  of  their  tormented 
life,  as  Hirschfeld,  Ulrich  and  their  disciples  maintain.  The 
vexations,  anxieties  and  other  torments  that  they  suffer  may 
no  doubt  play  a  part  in  developing  certain  nervous  conditions 
previously  latent,  but  they  can  never  create  hereditary  taints. 
We  may  admit  that  sexual  inversion  corresponds  to  a  kind  of 
partial  hermaphrodism,  in  which  the  sexual  glands  and  copula- 
tory  organs  have  the  characters  of  one  of  the  sexes,  while  the 
brain  has,  to  a  great  extent,  those  of  the  other  sex;  but  the 
phenomenon  is  none  the  less  pathological. 

The  inverts  with  whom  we  have  most  to  do,  especially  in  pub- 
lic asylums  and  at  the  courts  of  justice,  are  cynics  and  debauchees 
in  spite  of  the  ideal  which  they  parade;  but  we  should  be  wrong 
in  concluding  that  this  is  always  the  case.  The  cynics  make 
themselves  heard  because  they  do  not  restrain  themselves.  In 
my  private  practice  I  have  known  many  very  well-conducted 
inverts,  possessing  the  most  dehcate  sentiments,  who  had  be- 
come pessimists  owing  to  the  shame  and  grief  of  a  state  of  mind 
which  they  hid  from  the  world. 

Inverts  of  this  class  often  commit  suicide,  after  having  carried 
on  in  silence  a  desperate  struggle  against  their  morbid  appetite, 
because  they  prefer  death  to  defeat,  which  they  consider  a  dis- 
honor. The  victims  of  these  tragedies  deserve  all  our  pity,  and 
sometimes  our  respect.  Such  individuals  generally  hold  aloof 
from  the  brotherhood  of  inverts  which  they  look  upon  with  fear 
or  disgust. 

In  the  picture  of  homosexuals  there  are  two  lamentable 
shadows,  which  are  largely  due  to  the  severity  with  which  most 
legislations  track  and  condemn  these  unfortunate  beings. 

(1).  As  soon  as  an  invert  realizes  his  abnormal  and  dangerous 
situation  in  society,  in  which  he  feels  a  pariah,  he  often  makes  up 


246  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

his  mind  to  follow  the  advice  of  ignorant  friends,  and  even,  alas, 
of  ignorant  doctors,  and  try  and  cure  himself  by  marriage.  Some- 
times he  begins  by  visiting  a  brothel  to  see  if  he  is  capable  of 
normal  coitus  with  a  woman.  In  this  he  often  succeeds,  if  he  is 
able  to  picture  to  himself  a  man  in  the  person  of  the  prostitute. 
He  tries  to  persuade  himself  that  the  disgust  which  he  felt  at 
this  experimental  coitus  was  due  to  the  fact  that  the  "love" 
was  bought;  and  he  then  decides  to  enter  into  conjugal  life. 
This  is  at  the  same  time  the  greatest  absurdity  and  the  worst 
action  possible  for  him  to  commit,  for  his  wife  becomes  a  martyr 
and  soon  feels  herself  deceived,  abandoned  and  despised.  The 
invert  treats  her  as  a  servant;  he  rarely  has  sexual  intercourse 
with  her,  sometimes  not  at  all,  and  only  performs  it  with  repug- 
nance with  a  view  to  the  procreation  of  young  inverts,  who  will 
rise  to  his  ideal.  He  invites  his  male  lovers  to  his  house  and 
they  indulge  in  orgies,  especially  when  the  wife,  despised  and 
neglected,  has  separated  from  him.  Such  marriages,  which  are 
fortunately  less  common  since  this  question  has  been  better 
understood,  generally  end  in  divorce,  preceded  by  bitter  and 
mutual  deceptions.  It  is  really  criminal  to  favor  them  when 
we  know  what  they  lead  to.  It  is  against  such  unions,  and 
not  against  sexual  intercourse  between  adult  men,  that  the  law 
ought  to  exert  itself. 

(2) .  A  second  very  grave  result  of  homosexual  love  is  the  con- 
tinual blackmail  which  is  levied  on  inverts  by  all  kinds  of  scamps. 
Public  urinals  are  common  meeting  places  for  inverts.  The 
blackmailers,  who  know  this  very  well,  follow  them  there  and 
offer  themselves  for  money;  but  as  soon  as  they  find  out  the 
name  of  their  victim  and  his  financial  position,  they  begin  to 
extort  hush-money,  threatening  to  prosecute  him  if  he  does  not 
pay  what  they  ask.  If  the  invert  is  rich  or  of  high  position  he 
has  only  to  yield  to  the  extortion,  emigrate  or  commit  suicide. 
In  this  way  the  life  of  most  well-to-do  inverts  is  ruined  by  per- 
petual anxieties,  emotions  and  torments,  because  their  morbid 
appetite  instinctively  urges  them  to  abandon  themselves  to  men 
who  feel  differently  to  themselves. 

Moll,  Krafft-Ebing  and  Hirschfeld  have  wi'itten  at  great 
length  on  sexual  inversion.    The  law  takes  a  false  point  of  view 


SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY  247 

and  is  generally  much  too  severe  as  regards  this  anomaly, 
especially  in  Germanic  countries.  So  long  as  homosexual  love 
does  not  affect  minors  nor  insane  persons,  it  is^  comparatively 
innocent,  for  it  produces  no  offspring  and  consequently  dies  out 
by  means  of  selection.  When  the  two  individuals  are  adults 
and  in  accord,  it  is  certainly  less  harmful  than  legally  protected 
prostitution.  ^Vhen  a  normal  man  is  tormented  by  an  invert, 
it  is  much  easier  to  get  rid  of  him  than  for  a  young  girl  to  protect 
herself  against  the  importunities  of  a  man  who  persecutes  her. 

It  is  quite  another  thing  when  the  invert  pays  his  attentions 
to  minors,  or  when  his  appetites  are  complicated  with  dangerous 
sexual  paraesthesias,  such  as  sadism.  Not  long  ago  the  terrible 
case  of  a  sadist  invert,  Dippold,  startled  civilized  Europe.  By 
the  aid  of  cruelty  and  intimidation  this  wretch  martyrized  two 
young  boys  confided  to  him  for  their  education  to  such  a  degree 
that  one  of  them  died.  Legal  protection  of  the  two  sexes 
against  sexual  abuses  of  all  kinds  should  be  extended  at  least 
to  the  age  of  seventeen  or  eighteen. 

Sexual  inversion  has  two  curious  results  which  have  not 
received  sufficient  attention.  Human  society  regards  it  as  quite 
natural  and  without  danger  for  individuals  of  the  same  sex  to 
bathe,  sleep  and  live  together.  In  lunatic  asylums,  prisons, 
reformatories,  etc.,  men  are  attended  to  by  men,  and  women  by 
women.  The  vow  of  chastity  of  Catholic  priests  and  nuns  leads 
in  the  same  way  to  separation  of  the  sexes.  In  all  these  cus- 
toms sexual  inversion  has  not  been  taken  into  consideration. 
It  is  not  surprising,  therefore,  that  homosexuals  take  advantage 
of  this  state  of  affairs  and  seek  these  situations  which  give  them 
the  opportunity  for  satisfying  their  perverted  passions  without 
running  much  danger.  They  willingly  choose  the  career  of 
Catholic  priest,  and  especially  that  of  attendant  in  lunatic 
asylums.  In  the  latter  case  they  take  advantage  of  the  mental 
condition  of  the  patients  and  their  incapacity  to  make  com- 
plaints. In  public  baths  inverts  can  freely  enjoy  the  sight  of 
naked  men. 

So  far  we  have  only  spoken  of  complete  inversion;  but  there 
are  transitional  stages.  Many  individuals  are  neutral,  animated 
by  sensations  floating  between  the  two  sexes.     Krafft-Ebing 


248  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

even  speaks  of  psycho-sexual  hermaphrodites,  who  are  equally 
attracted  by  either  sex,  and  cohabit  sometimes  with  one,  some- 
times with  the  other.  I  knew  a  married  man  who  was  very 
capable  with  his  wife  but  in  spite  of  this  was  unfaithful  to  her, 
both  with  men  and  with  other  women.  He  was  convicted  sev- 
eral times  for  pederasty  with  men  and  young  boys,  and  confessed 
to  me  that  he  had  more  pleasure  from  homosexual  intercourse 
than  from  normal  connection  with  women,  but  could  satisfy 
himself  either  way.  An  incomplete  invert  declared  to  me  that 
his  ideal  would  be  a  man  with  a  vagina! 

Along  with  these  cases  there  is  a  series  of  homosexuals  in 
whom  it  is  assumed  that  inversion  has  been  acquired,  because 
they  commenced  with  a  normal  sexual  desire  for  women.  After 
being  seduced  by  homosexuals,  who  initiate  them  in  mutual 
onanism  or  pederasty,  they  are  suddenly  or  gradually  disgusted 
with  women  and  become  inverts  (vide  Suggestion).  In  reality, 
these  are  only  relatively  cases  of  acquired  inversion.  If  we 
except  the  cases  which  depend  on  pure  suggestion  of  which  we 
shall  speak  later,  there  is  a  latent  hereditary  disposition  to  inver- 
sion, which  is  awakened  on  the  first  occasion  and  then  develops 
strongly.  It  is  easy  to  prove  that  men  with  normal  sexual  in- 
stincts immediately  abandon  the  habits  of  onanism  or  pederasty 
which  they  have  contracted  through  bad  example  or  seduction, 
or  by  compensation  for  the  want  of  the  normal  object,  as  soon 
as  they  can  obtain  normal  sexual  intercourse  with  one  or  more 
women.  It  is,  therefore,  false  to  regard  homosexual  sensations 
as  depending  on  vice  and  depravity:  they  are  a  pathological 
product  of  abnormal  hereditary  sexual  dispositions.  At  any 
rate,  this  is  a  general  rule  which  has  few  exceptions. 

Sexual  inversion  is  so  widespread  that  in  certain  countries, 
for  instance  Brazil,  and  even  in  some  European  towns,  there  are 
brothels  with  men  instead  of  women. 

I  will  mention  here  a  very  curious  case  of  purely  psychical 
but  complete  inversion  of  the  sexual  personality,  combined  with 
complete  sexual  anaesthesia: 

A  man,  aged  22,  the  son  of  an  inebriate,  with  one  imbecile 
sister.  Of  delicate  constitution,  but  very  intelligent,  he  was 
possessed  since  infancy  with  the  idea  that  he  was  a  girl,  although 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  249 

his  genital  organs  were  properly  formed  and  were  normally  devel- 
oped at  puberty.  He  had  a  horror  of  the  society  of  boys,  and  of 
all  masculine  work,  while  he  was  quite  happy  in  performing  all 
the  household  duties  of  a  woman.  An  irresistible  obsession 
urged  him  to  dress  himself  as  a  woman,  and  neither  contempt, 
ridicule,  nor  punishment  could  cure  him  of  it.  Attempts  to  give 
him  employment  as  a  boy  in  a  small  town  failed  completely. 
His  girlish  manners  made  him  suspected  by  the  police,  who 
took  him  for  a  girl  dressed  in  boy's  clothes,  and  threatened  to 
arrest  him.  When  he  was  compelled  to  put  on  male  attire  he 
consoled  himself  with  wearing  a  woman's  chemise  and  corset 
underneath. 

I  carefully  examined  this  individual  and  found  him  affected 
with  complete  sexual  anesthesia.  He  had  a  horror  of  everything 
connected  with  the  sexual  appetite,  but  the  idea  of  sexual  inter- 
course with  men  was  still  more  repugnant  than  that  of  normal 
coitus  with  women.  Although  the  testicles  and  penis  appeared 
absolutely  normal,  he  never  had  erections.  His  voice  was  high 
pitched  and  his  whole  manner  suggested  that  of  a  eunuch. 

This  case  is  very  instructive,  for  it  clearly  shows  how  the 
psycho-sexual  personality  may  be  predetermined  by  heredity 
in  the  brain  alone,  independently  of  the  sexual  organs,  and  even 
act  without  a  trace  of  sexual  sensation  or  appetite.  This  was 
undoubtedly  a  case  of  alcoholic  blastophthoria  and  not  ordinary 
heredity. 

Krafft-Ebing  describes  the  following  scene,  taken  from  a 
Berlin  journal,  dated  February,  1894,  which  gives  a  good  idea 
of  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  homosexual  fraternity: 

"  The  misogynist's  ball.  Almost  all  the  social  elements  of 
Berlin  have  their  club  or  meeting  place — the  fat,  the  bald,  the 
bachelors,  the  widowers — why  not  the  misogynists?  This  va- 
riety of  the  human  species,  whose  society  is  hardly  edifying, 
but  whose  psychology  is  peculiar,  held  a  fancy  dress  ball  a  few 
days  ago.  The  sale,  or  rather  the  distribution  of  tickets  was 
kept  very  private.  Their  meeting  place  is  a  well-known  danc- 
ing hall.  We  enter  the  hall  about  midnight.  Dancing  is  going 
on  to  the  music  of  a  good  orchestra.  A  thick  cloud  of  smoke 
obscures  the  lamps  and  prevents  us  at  first  from  distinguishing 
the  details  of  the  scene.     It  is  only  during  an  interval  that  we 


250  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

can  make  a  closer  examination.  Most  of  the  people  are 
masked,  dress  coats  and  ball  dresses  are  exceptional. 

"  But  what  do  I  see?  This  lady  in  rose  tarlatan,  who  has  just 
pirouetted  before  us  has  a  cigar  in  her  mouth  and  smokes  like  a 
trooper.  She  has  also  a  small  beard,  half  hidden  by  paint. 
And  she  is  now  talking  to  an  "angel"  in  tights,  very  decollete, 
with  bare  arms  crossed  behind  her,  also  smoking.  They  have 
men's  voices  and  the  conversation  is  also  masculine,  for  it  turns 
on  'this  cursed  tobacco  will  not  draw.'  Two  men  dressed  as 
women! 

"A  clown  In  conventional  costume  leaning  against  a  pillar  is 
speaking  tender  words  to  a  ballet  dancer,  with  his  arm  round  her 
waist.  She  has  a  Titian  head,  a  fine  profile  and  good  figure. 
Her  brilhant  earrings,  her  necklace,  her  shapely  shoulders  and 
arms  seem  to  proclaim  her  sex,  when  suddenly  disengaging  her- 
self from  the  embracing  arm  she  turns  away  with  a  yawn,  say- 
ing in  a  bass  voice,  'Emile,  why  are  you  so  tiresome  to-day?' 
The  novice  hardly  believes  his  eyes :  the  ballet  dancer  is  also  a 
man. 

"  Becoming  suspicious,  we  continue  our  investigations,  begin- 
ning to  think  that  the  world  is  here  upside  down.  Here  is  a  man 
who  comes  tripping  along;  but  no,  it  cannot  be  a  man,  in  spite 
of  the  small  and  carefully  curled  mustache.  The  dressing  of 
the  hair,  the  powder  and  paint  on  the  face,  the  blackened  eye- 
brows, the  gold  earrings,  the  bouquet  of  flowers  on  the  breast 
and  shoulder,  the  elegant  black  go-^m,  the  gold  bracelets,  the 
fan  held  in  a  white-gloved  hand — none  of  these  things  suggest  a 
man.  And  with  what  coquetry  he  fans  himself;  how  he  dances 
and  skips  about!  Nevertheless,  Nature  has  created  this  doll  in 
the  form  of  a  man.  He  is  a  salesman  in  one  of  the  large  sweet 
shops,  and  the  ballet  dancer  is  his  colleague! 

"At  the  table  in  the  corner  there  is  a  convivial  meeting;  sev- 
eral elderly  gentlemen  are  gathered  round  a  gi'oup  of  very 
decollete  'ladies'  sitting  over  a  glass  of  wine  and  cracking  jokes 
which  are  anything  but  delicate.  'Who  are  these  three  ladies?' 
'Ladies!  laughs  my  better-informed  companion;  well,  the  one 
on  the  right  with  the  brown  hair  and  short  fancy  dress  is  a  hair- 
dresser; the  second,  the  blonde  with  the  pearl  necklace  is  known 


SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY  251 

here  by  the  name  of  Miss  Ella,  and  he  is  a  ladies'  tailor;   the 
third  is  the  celebrated  Lottie.' 

"  But  this  cannot  be  a  man?  The  waist,  the  bust,  the  dehcate 
arms,  the  whole  appearance  is  feminine!  I  am  told  that  Lottie 
was  formerly  an  accountant.  To-day  she,  or  rather  he,  is 
simply  'Lottie,'  and  takes  pleasure  in  deceiving  men  as  to  his 
sex  as  long  as  possible.  At  this  moment  Lottie  is  singing  a  song 
in  a  contralto  voice  acquired  by  prolonged  practice,  which  a 
female  singer  might  envy.  Lottie  has  also  taken  female  parts 
on  the  stage.  Nowadays  the  former  accountant  is  so  imbued 
with  his  female  role  that  he  seldom  appears  in  the  street  except 
in  woman's  attire,  and  even  wears  an  embroidered  nightdress. 

''On  closer  examination  of  the  persons  present,  I  discovered 
to  my  astonishment  several  acquaintances.  My  bootmaker, 
whom  I  should  never  have  taken  for  a  misogynist,  appears 
to-night  as  a  troubador  with  sword  and  plumed  cap;  and  his 
*  Leonora,'  in  the  costume  of  a  bride,  generally  serves  me  with 
Havanas  in  a  cigar  store.  When  Leonora  removed  her  gloves  I 
recognized  her  at  once  by  her  large  chilblained  hands.  Here  is 
my  haberdasher  promenading  in  an  indelicate  costume  as  Bac- 
chus; also  a  Diana,  dressed  up  atrociously,  who  is  really  a  waiter 
at  a  cafe. 

"It  is  impossible  to  describe  the  real  'ladies'  who  are  at  this 
ball.  They  only  associate  with  each  other  and  avoid  the  women- 
hating  men;  while  the  latter  also  keep  to  themselves  and  abso- 
lutely ignore  the  fair  sex." 

B.  Feminine  Sexual  Inversion  and  Homosexual  Love. — Sex- 
ual inversion  is  not  rare  in  women,  but  manifests  itself  less  pub- 
licly than  the  corresponding  masculine  inversion.  It  is  called 
Lesbian  love  or  saphism;  and  the  women  inverts  are  known  as 
trihacles.  They  are  described  in  history,  but  may  also  be  ob- 
served in  modern  towns.  They  satisfy  their  pathological 
appetite  by  mutual  masturbation,  especially  by  mutual  licking 
of  the  cUtoris  {cunnilingus) .  The  feminine  invert  likes  to  dress 
as  a  man  and  feels  like  a  man  toward  other  women.  She  goes  in 
for  manly  games,  wears  her  hair  short,  and  takes  to  men's  occu- 
pations in  general.  Her  sexual  appetite  is  often  much  exalted 
and  then  she  becomes  a  veritable  feminine  Don  Juan.     I  have 


252  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

known  several  women  of  this  kind,  who  held  veritable  orgies 
and  induced  a  whole  series  of  young  girls  to  become  their  lovers, 
in  the  way  we  have  just  indicated. 

Here  again,  as  in  masculine  inversion,  there  is  a  true  irradiated 
love.  Inverts  want  to  marry  and  swear  eternal  fidelity;  they 
celebrate  their  betrothals,  even  openly,  the  invert  in  male  atthe 
representing  the  bridegroom;  or  sometimes  they  have  secret 
symbols,  such  as  exchanging  rings,  etc.  These  sexual  orgies  are 
often  seasoned  with  alcohol. 

The  excesses  of  female  inverts  exceed  those  of  the  male. 
One  orgasm  succeeds  another,  night  and  day,  almost  without 
interruption.  Jealousy  is  also  as  strong  as  among  male  inverts. 
However,  these  nymphomaniac  inverts  are  not  very  common. 

A  characteristic  peculiarity  of  feminine  inversion  depends  on 
the  hradiation  of  the  sexual  appetite  in  woman  (vide  Chapters 
IV  and  V).  We  have  seen  that  there  is  much  less  distinction 
in  woman  between  love  and  local  sensations  of  pleasure,  and 
between  friendship  and  love,  than  in  man.  When  a  woman 
invert  wishes  to  seduce  a  normal  gh'l,  it  is  easy  for  her  to  do  so. 
She  first  wins  her  affection  by  the  aid  of  the  caresses  of  an 
exalted  platonic  love,  which  is  not  uncommon  among  women; 
kisses,  embraces,  and  sleeping  in  the  same  bed  are  much  more 
conmion  among  girls  than  boys,  and  Uttle  by  Httle  the  invert 
succeeds  in  causing  voluptuous  sensations  in  her  victim.  Very 
often  the  object  of  these  caresses  does  not  recognize  that  there 
is  anything  abnormal  in  all  this,  or  gives  way  to  her  sensations 
without  reflection,  and  then  becomes  amorous  in  her  tm-n.  I 
will  give  an  example: 

A  female  invert,  dressed  as  a  young  man,  succeeded  in  win- 
ning the  love  of  a  normal  girl,  and  was  formally  betrothed  to 
her.  Soon  afterwards  the  woman  was  unmasked,  arrested  and 
sent  to  an  asylum,  where  she  was  made  to  put  on  woman's 
clothes.  But  the  young  ghl  who  had  been  deceived  continued 
to  be  amorous  and  visited  her  ''lover,"  who  embraced  her 
before  every  one,  in  a  state  of  voluptuous  ecstasy,  which  I  wit- 
nessed myself.  When  this  scene  was  over,  I  took  the  young 
girl  aside  and  expressed  my  astonishment  at  seeing  her  con- 
tinue to  have  any  regard  for  the  sham  "young  man"  who  had 


SEXUAL   PATHOLOGY  253 

deceived  her.  Her  reply  was  characteristic  of  a  woman:  "Ah! 
you  see,  doctor,  I  love  him,  and  I  cannot  help  it!'' 

What  can  one  reply  to  such  logic?  A  psychic  love  of  this 
kind  is  hardly  possible  in  man;  but  if  we  go  to  the  bottom  of 
the  matter  and  study  the  nature  of  woman,  we  can  understand 
how  certain  feminine  exaltations  may  be  unconsciously  trans- 
formed into  love,  platonic  at  first,  afterwards  sexual.  At  first, 
"they  understand  each  other  so  well,"  and  have  so  much  mu- 
tual S3nnpathy;  they  give  each  other  pet  names,  they  kiss  and 
embrace,  and  perform  all  kinds  of  tender  actions.  Finally,  a 
graduated  scale  of  caresses  leads  almost  unconsciously  to  sexual 
excitation. 

This  is  how  it  happens  that  a  normal  woman,  systematically 
seduced  by  an  invert,  may  become  madly  in  love  with  her  and 
commit  sexual  excesses  with  her  for  years,  without  being  her- 
self essentially  pathological.  The  case  only  becomes  really 
pathological  when  it  is  definitely  fixed  by  long  habit;  a  thing 
which  easily  occurs  in  woman,  owing  to  the  constant  and 
monogamous  nature  of  her  love. 

Krafft-Ebing's  cases  show  the  same  phenomena,  (for  instance 
the  invert  called  "Count  Sandor"  and  her  victims).  In  these 
cases  also  young  guis,  seduced  by  inverts,  fell  into  despair  and 
even  threatened  to  commit  suicide  when  their  seducers  aban- 
doned them.  On  the  other  hand,  when  a  normal  man,  seduced 
by  an  invert,  practices  mutual  masturbation  the  affau-  remains 
localized  and  limited  to  purely  animal  ^sensations  of  pleasure 
which  do  not  irradiate  to  his  psychic  life;  such  irradiations  only 
occur  in  the  invert,  so  that  his  victims  are  always  ready  to 
abandon  him  without  the  least  regret.  If  we  except  children, 
it  therefore  follows  that  the  so-called  male  victims  are  nearly 
always  blackmailers,  or  simply  offer  themselves  for  money. 

In  fact,  the  normal  man  entirely  separates  the  sympathy,  or 
even  the  exalted  affection,  which  he  feels  for  another  man,  from 
all  sexual  sensations,  and  has  not  the  least  desire  to  kiss  or 
caress  his  best  friend,  still  less  to  have  sexual  intercourse  with 
him.  All  sensual  caresses  between  men  are,  therefore,  sugges- 
tive of  inversion,  except  in  places  where  women  are  absent. 

In  the  normal  woman  on  the  contrary,  as  we  have  already 


254  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

mentioned,  sentiments  of  exalted  sympathy  easily  provoke  the 
desire  for  kisses  and  caresses,  and  these  caresses  often  cause  in 
women  a  certain  amount  of  vague  sensual  pleasure.  When  this 
pleasm'e  leads  to  progressive  tenderness  and  ends  in  mutual 
onanism,  etc.,  it  nevertheless  remains  intimately  connected  with 
psychic  exaltations  and  sentiments  of  sympathy,  from  which  it 
cannot  be  separated  as  in  man. 

In  a  former  chapter  we  have  described  the  difference  between 
the  two  sexes,  but  nowhere  is  it  more  distinctly  shown  than  in 
the  relations  between  a  female  invert  and  her  victims. 

It  is  therefore  much  more  difficult  in  woman  than  in  man  to 
distinguish  in  particular  cases  between  the  hereditary  disposi- 
tion to  inversion,  and  saphism  acquired  by  seduction  or  habit. 
The  latter  is  cormnon  in  prostitutes  and  libidinous  women.         , 

As  we  have  already  said,  the  pure  female  invert  feels  like  a 
man.    The  idea  of  coitus  with  men  is  repugnant  to  her.    She  \ 
apes  the  habits,  manners  and  clothes  of  men.     Female  inverts  I 
have  been  known  to  wear  men's  uniforms  and  perform  military 
service  for  years,  and  even  behave  as  heroes;   their  sex  some- 
times only  being  discovered  after  their  death. 

Sexual  Appetite  for  Children.  (Pederosis.) — It  may  be  ques- 
tioned whether  this  is  a  special  category,  for  many  sexual 
assaults  committed  on  children  are  simply  the  effect  of  senile 
dementia,  or  abuse  of  children  to  satisfy  an  otherwise  normal 
sexual  appetite.  I  have,  however,  observed  cases  where  chil- 
dren were  so  specially,  or  even  exclusively,  the  object  of  the 
sexual  appetite,  that  I  cannot  doubt  the  existence  of  a  special 
hereditary  perversion  in  this  direction. 

No  doubt,  most  of  those  who  abuse  children  are  also  capable 
of  coitus  wdth  women,  or  else  they  are  inverts,  sadists,  etc. ;  but 
with  many  of  them  sexual  passion  for  children  is  so  marked  from 
their  youth  upward,  that  it  shows  a  special  hereditary  disposi- 
tion. For  this  pathological  disposition,  thus  defined,  I  propose 
the  term  pederosis;  that  of  pederasty  applying  to  anal  coitus 
between  man  and  man,  whatever  causes  lead  to  it.  Krafft- 
Ebing,  who  does  not  believe  in  the  existence  of  a  hereditary 
pederosis,  gives  the  name  erotic  pedophilia  to  the  abuse  of 
children  by  depraved  persons. 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  255 

The  following  are  cases  of  exclusive  and  hereditary  pederosis: 
A  talented  artist,  possessing  high  moral  sentiments,  was  affected 
from  his  youth  with  a  sexual  appetite  exclusively  directed  to- 
ward Httle  girls  of  five  or  six  years.  At  the  age  of  twelve  they 
ceased  to  attract  him.  He  was  quite  indifferent  to  adults  of 
both  sexes,  and  never  accomplished  coitus.  Having  recognized 
in  good  time  the  anomaly  of  his  appetite,  he  succeeded  in  mas- 
tering it  all  his  life.  At  the  most  he  sometimes  allowed  himself 
to  caress  httle  girls  without  appearing  to  do  so,  by  taking  them 
on  his  knees  and  pressing  them  against  his  person,  so  as  to  pro- 
voke erection  and  ejaculation,  without  the  child  being  aware  of 
it.  His  moral  sentiments  and  principles  were  always  strong 
enough  to  prevent  him  going  any  further,  and  he  masturbated  to 
obtain  relief.  But  this  condition  gave  rise  to  increasing  nei*vous 
irritation  and  melancholic  depression. 

In  another  man,  the  sexual  appetite,  also  perverted  since  its 
origin,  was  directed  only  toward  boys  of  twelve  or  sixteen.  At 
one  time  girls  of  the  same  age  excited  him,  while  he  was  quite 
indifferent  toward  adult  women  and  men. 

In  rare  cases  the  sexual  appetite  of  certain  women  is  directed 
toward  little  boys. 

Sexual  Appetite  for  Animals.  (Sodomy  or  Bestiality.)* — A 
human  sexual  appetite  exclusively  directed  toward  animals  is 
certainly  not  common.  Coitus  between  man  and  animals 
usually  takes  place  for  want  of  the  opportunity  for  normal  satis- 
faction, or  else  as  the  result  of  satyriasis,  nymphomania  or 
desire  for  change.  I  have  observed  it  especially  in  idiots  and 
imbeciles  who  are  ridiculed  by  girls.  To  console  themselves, 
they  give  vent  to  their  feelings  wdth  a  patient  cow  or  goat  in 
:the  silence  of  the  stable:  for  this  act  they  get  several  years 
imprisonment,  for  the  law  on  this  point  is  severe.  Certain 
degraded  libertines  satisfy  their  hypersesthetic  and  perverted 
I  appetites  with  goats  or  even  with  large  birds  or  rabbits. 
I  There  are,  however,  cases  where  a  pathological  sexual  appe- 
iitite  is  specially  directed  toward  animals,  and  it  is  curious  to 

j  * Krafft-Ebing  describes  bestiality  (connection  with  animals)  and  pede- 
'rasty  under  the  general  term  of  sodomy,  but  points  out  that  the  original 
'meaning  of  sodomy  used  in  Genesis  (Chapter  XIX)  signified  pederasty,  i.e., 
anal  coitus  between  men. 


256  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

observe  the  frequent  preference  of  certain  individuals  for  small 
animals  wliich  they  skin  (fowls,  geese,  rabbits),  and  thus  put 
•to  death. 

Bestiality  is  not  rare  in  women,  who  train  dogs  to  copulate 
•^dth  them  or  to  lick  their  clitoris.  If  we  put  aside  cases  of 
torture  inflicted  on  small  animals,  and  if  we  avoid  all  prejudices, 
we  can  discover  neither  sin  nor  crime  in  bestiality.  In  fact, 
considered  from  the  point  of  view  of  law  and  humanity,  bes- 
tiality is  one  of  the  most  innocent  of  all  the  pathological  aber- 
rations of  the  sexual  appetite.  Human  imagination  only  has 
marked  it  with  the  stigma  of  a  moral  bugbear  and  has  made  it 
a  crime.  When  practiced  with  the  larger  animals  it  harms  no 
one,  not  even  the  animal;  in  the  second  place,  it  cannot  injure 
the  product,  because  there  is  none;  lastly,  there  is  no  question 
of  venereal  infection.  At  the  most,  sestheticism  has  reason  for 
complaint,  and  more  than  one  painter  or  sculptor  has  repre- 
sented the  union  of  Leda  with  the  Swan.  It  is  certainly  much 
better  for  society,  for  an  idiot  or  an  imbecile  to  copulate  with 
a  cow,  than  for  him  to  make  a  gul  pregnant  and  breed  more 
idiots. 

In  cases  of  this  kind  which  I  have  kno^\Ti  and  which  were 
brought  to  justice,  I  consider  that  the  real  sinner  was  not  the 
poor  sodomite,  but  his  informer,  or  his  judge  who  condemned 
the  poor  \\Tetch  to  many*  years  of  imprisonment,  thus  making 
a  martyr  of  him  for  no  reason,  and  putting  the  ban  of  society 
upon  him.  It  is  needless  to  say  that  cases  of  sodomy  compU- 
cated  by  cruelty  or  sadism,  should  be  judged  in  quite  another  way. 

There  are  also  other  hereditary  or  constitutional  perversions, 
more  or  less  characteristic,  of  the  sexual  appetite,  but  we  can- 
not enumerate  all  of  them.  We  may  mention,  however,  the 
erotic  excitement  which  some  men  feel  at  the  sight  of  statues 
of  women,  which  urges  them  to  masturbate  against  these; 
statues. 

i 
SEXUAL   ANOMALIES   IN   THE    INSANE   AND  IN   PSYCHOPATHS       ' 

AATien  one  is  familiar  with  the  population  of  a  lunatic  asylum, 
one  is  struck  by  a  singular  phenomenon,  from  the  sexual  point 
of  view.    A  great  number  of  insane  women  give  exidence  of, 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  257 

intense  sexual  desire.  This  desire  is  manifested  in  some  by- 
incessant  masturbation;  in  others  by  obscene  conversation;  in 
many  others,  by  imaginary  love,  sometimes  sensual,  sometimes 
platonic;  often  by  direct  provocation  to  coitus  addressed  to 
the  medical  officers;  but  especially  by  perpetual  scenes  of 
jealousy,  and  often  by  reciprocal  suspicions  regarding  then- 
sexual  life.  In  fact,  a  lunatic  asylum  reveals  to  us,  in  the  form 
of  repulsive  caricatures,  all  gradations  and  variations  of  a  more 
or  less  degenerate  feminine  sexual  Ufe,  coquetry,  wearing  all 
kinds  of  ornaments,  jealous  anger,  erotic  excitement,  etc. 

The  sexual  excitation  of  the  insane  often  makes  them  soil 
themselves  with  urine  and  excrements,  and  heap  insults  on 
persons  whom  their  diseased  imagination  suspects  of  sexual 
assaults  or  immodest  acts  toward  themselves  or  others.  They 
have  a  tendency  to  believe  themselves  betrothed  or  married  to 
kings,  emperors,  Jesus  Christ  or  God.  Pregnancy  and  child- 
birth play  a  large  part  in  their  delirium.  Some  patients 
imagine  themselves  pregnant  and  pretend  that  they  were  fecun- 
dated secretly.  Afterwards  they  believe  that  some  one  has 
taken  away  their  child  while  they  were  asleep. 

One  of  my  former  patients  once  accused  me  of  going  to  her 
bed  at  night  and  fecundating  her  every  week.  She  also  accused 
me  of  having  hidden  the  hundreds  of  children  which  I  was 
supposed  to  have  procreated  with  her,  and  martyred  them. 
Owing  to  these  hallucinations  she  heard  their  cries  day  and  night. 

Another  patient,  affected  with  curable  acute  mania,  was  so 
erotic  during  her  attacks  that  she  made  advances  toward  all 
the  doctors  who  visited  her.  Her  mind  was  full  of  such  erotic 
images  that  after  her  cure  she  was  frightened  of  being  pregnant, 
although  she  had  passed  the  whole  of  her  time  of  detention 
under  supervision  by  female  attendants.  Women  who  in  their 
normal  state  are  most  modest  or  sexually  cold  may  be  most 
erotic  when  they  become  insane,  and  may  even  behave  as  pros- 
titutes. This  is  especially  observed  in  periodic  hypomania.  It 
is  a  well-known  fact  in  the  female  divisions  of  lunatic  asylums, 
that  the  doctors  are  always  surrounded  by  erotic  patients,  who 
catch  hold  of  their  clothes  and  pinch  them,  and  try  and  em- 
brace or  scratch  them  according  as  they  are  amorous  or  jealous, 


258  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

SO  that  they  often  have  trouble  in  escaping  from  these  signs  of 
violent  love  or  furious  jealousy. 

On  the  other  hand,  in  the  male  divisions  of  asylums,  one  is 
astonished  at  the  indifference  and  profound  sexual  apathy  of 
nearly  all  insane  men.  Some  practice  masturbation  and  others 
attempt  pederasty,  but  all  with  a  philosophical  calmness  due  to 
their  dementia.  Young  women  may  even  go  among  them  with- 
out any  fear  of  assaults  or  indecent  language.  It  is  only  a  few 
of  the  most  violent  who  are  exceptions  to  this  rule. 

A  young  lady  doctor,  assistant  medical  officer  to  the  asylum 
at  Zmich,  made  her  visits  alone  among  all  the  males,  even  the 
most  violent,  without  any  inconvenience;  while,  in  the  female 
divisions,  she  was  approached  by  the  erotic  patients  as  much 
as  were  the  male  assistants.  I  mention  this  fact  because  some 
people  wrongly  imagine  that  the  sexual  excitation  of  insane 
women  is  due  to  the  visits  of  male  doctors.  These  facts  are  very 
striking  and  furnish  perhaps  the  best  proof  that  the  feminine 
sexual  appetite  is  especially  situated  in  the  higher  brain,  while 
the  masculine  appetite  is  situated  more  in  the  lower  cerebral 
centers,  as  we  have  shown  above.  Mental  alienation  is  due  to 
irritations  of  the  higher  brain,  and  this  explains  why  in  women 
it  lets  loose  such  violent  sexual  passions  and  images,  and  why 
there  is  so  little  of  this  in  men. 

The  sexual  pathological  symptoms  of  the  insane  are  as  fol- 
lows: 

(1).  Erotomania  (satyriasis  and  nymphomania),  or  abnormal 
exaltation  of  the  sexual  appetite.  This  is  especially  seen  in 
acute  mania,  in  the  early  stages  of  general  paralysis  and  senile 
dementia,  also  temporarily  or  permanently  in  other  psychoses. 
It  is  manifested  by  sexual  excesses,  obscene  language  or  exces- 
sive masturbation.  All  these  symptoms  disappear  after  the 
attack  of  insanity. 

(2).  Sexual  anoesthesia  or  hypocesthesia  or  even  impotence 
may  occur  in  the  later  stages  of  general  paralysis  and  senile 
dementia.  At  the  commencement  of  general  paralysis  there 
is  often  violent  sexual  desire  combined  with  more  or  less  com- 
plete impotence.  The  same  thing  occurs,  as  we  shall  see,  in 
alcoholism. 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  259 

(3).  Subjects  affected  with  systematic  delirium  of  persecution 
and  grandeur  (paranoia)  sometimes  commit  atrocious  sexual 
excesses,  and  often  tyrannize  and  torment  in  a  terrible  way  the 
women  who  are  their  victims.  It  is  especially  in  the  religious 
forms  of  this  delirium,  combined  with  fanatic  ecstasy,  that  the 
most  repulsive  sexual  orgies  occur.  I  have  treated  a  patient 
with  paranoia  who,  full  of  pious  sayings,  regarded  himself  as  a 
kind  of  prophet.  He  made  a  poor  girl  and  her  mother  sleep  in 
his  room  and  had  connection  with  them  alternately.  Finally, 
he  mixed  his  semen  in  coffee  with  the  girl's  menstrual  blood  and 
made  her  drink  the  mixture,  pretending  that  this  was  a  religious 
ceremony  intended  to  produce  a  strong  race.  In  the  end  he  set 
fire  to  the  house  of  these  poor  women. 

Subjects  affected  with  partial  paranoia  often  turn  the  heads 
of  susceptible  women  by  the  aid  of  ascetic  religious  phraseology, 
to  gi'atify  afterwards  their  sexual  passions.  The  worst  cases  are 
those  who  are  able  to  hide  from  the  public  their  delirious  ideas, 
and  pass  for  normal  individuals,  misunderstood  victims,  or  even 
saints.  I  have  examined  a  very  orthodox  clergyman,  highly 
esteemed  by  his  congregation  on  account  of  his  ascetic  and 
enthusiastic  preaching.  In  his  own  home  he  illtreated  his  wife, 
half  strangled  her,  and  exacted  all  kinds  of  sexual  depra\dty. 
Unfortunately,  the  nature  of  his  delirium  was  not  very  evident, 
and  he  dissimulated  so  well  that  the  jurists  would  not  admit  his 
irresponsibility,  in  spite  of  my  medical  certificate.  His  wife  was 
obliged  to  run  away  to  escape  from  her  martyrdom.  The  com- 
munity of  property  in  force  in  this  family  completely  ruined  this 
unfortunate  woman.  The  husband  was  not  a  hypocrite,  but 
simply  insane.  Volumes  could  be  written  on  sexual  atrocities 
committed  by  such  people. 

I  will  mention  briefly  the  systematic  delirium  directed  toward 
pathological  love.  This  is  a  very  common  symptom  in  insane 
women  who  combine  their  amorous  sentiments  for  man  with 
the  maddest  ideas  and  hallucinations.  An  insane  woman  sud- 
denly discovers  that  the  object  of  her  love  is  a  king  or  Jesus 
Christ,  and  that  she  is  betrothed  to  him.  In  her  delirium  she 
imagines  herself  to  be  queen  of  the  world.  In  her  dreams  and 
hallucinations  her  king  or  Christ  is  in  bed  with  her  and  she 


260  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

imagines  she  has  connection  with  him.  Still  under  the  influ- 
ence of  hallucinations,  she  believes  herself  pregnant  and  carries 
an  imaginary  child  for  nine  months  in  her  womb.  She  may 
even  imagine  that  she  has  given  birth  to  a  child,  and  that  the 
child  has  been  taken  away  from  her  by  the  aid  of  narcotics,  as 
we  have  seen  above.  Although  there  is  an  infinite  variety  in 
the  gradations,  the  pathological  images  of  the  cerebral  sexual  j 
sphere  of  insane  women  always  revolve  round  this  eternal  theme. 

These  pathological  irradiations  of  the  sexual  sphere  are  asso- 
ciated voluntarily  with  jealous  obsessions  and  ideas  of  persecu- 
tion, which  make  the  subjects  furious,  and  which  are  confirmed 
by  their  parsesthesias  and  hallucinations.  Illusions  of  memory 
play  a  great  part  in  these  cases,  for  the  subjects  have  often  never 
felt  what  they  complain  of,  and  it  is  then  a  question  of  veritable 
hallucinational  memor3^  We  may  here  observe  by  the  way 
that,  even  among  healthy  people,  the  sexual  passions,  like  the 
others,  always  tend  to  falsify  memory,  making  things  appear  in 
the  exclusive  sense  of  the  affective  state.  Once  fixed  in  the 
memory,  such  conceptions,  the  false  tendency  of  which  was 
originally  based  on  passion,  gradually  assume  the  subjective 
character  of  certainty.  Cool-headed  people,  or  those  whose 
affective  state  directs  them  to  contrary  conceptions,  then  see  in 
such  individuals  a  deliberate  intention  to  misrepresent  the  facts. 
This  is  the  reason  why  people  so  often  hurl  mutual  insults  at 
each  others  heads,  calling  each  other  liars  and  calumniators, 
owing  to  the  affective  illusion  of  memory. 

(4).  One  of  the  worst  of  the  sexual  anomalies  in  the  insane 
is  pathological  jealousy,  especially  in  men.  Their  wives  then 
become  martyrs,  especially  in  cases  of  alcoholism  and  paranoia. 
It  is  not  uncommon  for  assassination  to  put  an  end  to  their  tor- 
ments. Among  insane  women,  jealousy  is  certainly  not  less, 
but  they  have  less  legal  power  and  less  muscular  strength.  The 
most  violent  jealousy  is  found  in  alcoholics. 

Jealous  delirium  renders  the  subject  furious;  a  word,  a  look, 
Or  some  trivial  circumstance  are  enough  for  him  to  prove  the 
mfidelity  of  his  wife.  The  latter  has  to  avoid  the  slightest  thing 
which  might  arouse  jealousy,  but  all  in  vain;  reserve  and  even 
prudery  are  regarded  by  the  jealous  husband  as  hypocrisy. 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  261 

The  unfortunate  man  watches  his  wife,  night  and  day,  hke  a 
watchdog:  he  threatens  and  insults  her  with  no  reason,  and 
calumniates  her  in  all  ways,  even  in  the  presence  of  a  third 
party.  He  even  lays  elaborate  traps  for  her.  Cases  of  this  kind 
are  legion. 

(5).  It  is  necessary  to  say  that  the  sexual  parcesthesias,  of  which 
we  have  spoken,  sadism,  masochism,  fetichism,  inversion,  etc., 
often  occur  in  the  insane. 

(6).  The  most  atrocious  sexual  crimes  are  very  often  the  work 
of  idiots  or  imbeciles,  but  especially  inoral  idiots,  i.e.,  persons 
whose  idiocy  is  limited  to  the  moral  sense,  who  are  also  called 
simply  amoral.  This  is  due  to  hereditary  taint,  an  innate  absence 
of  all  sentiments  of  sympathy,  pity  and  duty.  Rape,  viola- 
tion of  children,  sexual  assassination,  etc.,  are  usually  due  to  the 
concomitant  action  of  moral  idiocy  and  violent  or  perverted 
sexual  passions. 

(7).  Hypochondria  also  causes  singular  results  in  the  sexual 
sphere.  We  have  already  dealt  with  the  masturbation  of  cer- 
tain hypochondriacs,  which  is  often  wholly  or  partly  imaginary. 
Others  believe  they  have  committed  terrible  sexual  excesses, 
when  nothing  of  the  kind  has  occurred.  I  have  seen  a  hypochon- 
driac married  and  strongly  built,  who  believed  his  health  was 
ruined  because  he  cohabited  with  his  wife  once  every  two  or 
three  months.  Other  hypochondriacs  become  impotent  simply 
because  they  think  they  are.  Others  again  imagine  they  are 
affected  with  venereal  disease,  which  they  have  never  contracted. 

(8) .  Hysterical  men  and  women  have  a  very  peculiar  sexuality. 
Hysteria  depends  on  auto-suggestion  or  on  an  exalted  and  mor- 
bid dissociability  of  psychic  activity.  A  single  idea  is  sufficient 
in  a  hysterical  subject,  to  produce  the  realization  of  what  it  rep- 
resents. The  passionate  imagination  may  lead  to  opinions  and 
actions  which  are  absolutely  contradictory.  Love  and  hatred 
often  alternate  by  transformation.  According  to  the  influ- 
ences to  which  she  is  exposed,  the  same  hysterical  woman  may 
become  a  good  or  evil  genius. 

In  the  sexual  domain  the  same  extremes  are  produced  in  a 
very  striking  manner.  Inflamed  by  love,  a  hysterical  woman 
may  exhibit  phenomenal  eroticism  and  the  most  violent  sexual 


262  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

excesses,  while  indifference,  disgust,  or  simply  distraction  by 
other  ideas  will  render  her  absolutely  frigid.  Cold  as  ice  toward 
other  men,  she  may  have  insatiable  sexual  desire  for  the  man 
she  loves. 

The  question  is  often  raised  whether  a  woman  can  love  more 
than  once  in  her  life.  There  is  no  doubt  that  many  women  are 
so  monogamous  by  instinct  that  they  cannot  love  more  than 
once;  but  it  is  also  certain  that  a  hysterical  woman  is  capable  of 
loving  several  times,  and  very  different  persons  at  different 
periods  of  her  life.  The  personality  of  certain  erotic  hysterical 
women  is  even  so  dissociable  that  they  can  love  with  all  their 
strength  several  men  at  the  same  time.  But  the  hysterical 
woman  is  also  capable  of  hating  a  man  with  as  much  ardor  as 
she  formerly  loved  him;  or,  on  the  contrary,  of  loving  the  one 
she  formerly  hated,  according  to  the  suggestion  of  the  moment. 
The  same  phenomena  occur  in  hysterical  men. 

For  the  same  reasons  the  quality  of  the  sexual  sensations  and 
sentiments  may  vary  in  a  hysterical  subject  according  to  the 
influences  it  is  subjected  to,  and  pass  from  the  normal  to  the 
perverted  state,  or  inversely.  I  have  observed  a  case  where  a 
higlily  cultured  hysterical  subject,  in  her  early  youth,  fell  in 
love  with  another  young  girl.  At  this  period  her  sentiments 
were  purely  homosexual;  her  love  for  the  young  girl  was  clearl}'- 
inverted  and  accompanied  by  intense  sexual  desire,  while  she 
was  absolutely  indifferent  to  men.  Later  on,  a  man  fell  in  love 
with  her,  and  she  yielded  to  him  rather  from  pity  and  feminine 
passiveness  than  from  love.  Still  later  she  fell  passionately  in 
love  with  another  man,  quite  as  much  as  she  had  been  with  the 
young  girl  of  her  early  youth.  Her  latest  love  was  both  exalted 
and  libidinous.  Her  sexual  appetite  had  thus  taken  the  normal 
du-ection  under  the  influence  of  a  hetero-sexual  affection. 

In  hysterical  men  analogous  changes  occur  less  easily,  on 
account  of  the  nature  of  masculine  sexuality  which  distinguishes 
more  clearly  between  the  mind  and  the  appetite;  but  these 
changes  are  observed  sometimes.  In  woman,  the  hysterical  im- 
agination and  dissociation  facilitate  a  polyandi'ous  irradiation  of 
the  sexual  appetite,  which  is  otherwise  rare  in  the  female  sex. 
In  this  respect  the  sexuality  of  hysterical  women  resembles  that 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  263 

of  men  and  differs  from  that  of  normal  women.  Hysterical  men, 
on  the  other  hand,  become  more  feminine,  not  by  their  appetite 
being  less  polygamous,  but  by  the  more  dissociated  form  of  their 
thoughts  and  sentiments. 

(9).  A  variety  of  the  pathological  love  of  abnormal  indi- 
viduals is  imaginary  love,  not  founded  on  delirious  ideas.  Cer- 
tain psychopaths  of  both  sexes  are  convinced  that  they  love 
some  one,  but  they  suddenly  perceive  during  their  betrothal,  or 
even  only  after  marriage,  that  they  are  mistaken  and  that  they 
have  never  loved  the  person  in  question.  Such  illusions  are  the 
cause  of  numerous  broken  engagements,  divorce  and  conjugal 
bitterness. 

(10).  Amorous  tyranny  constitutes  another  variety  in  the 
pathology  of  love.  Lovers  of  this  kind  constantly  tyrannize 
and  torment  the  object  of  their  passion,  by  their  desires,  their 
observations,  their  sensitive  temper,  their  contradictions,  their 
exigencies  and  their  jealousy.  This  atrocious  manner  of  loving 
is  common  in  both  sexes;  perhaps  more  so  in  women  than  men. 

(11).  The  love  of  psychopaths  is  a  subject  which  has  no  end. 
If  human  society  was  better  acquainted  with  psychopathology 
a  great  deal  of  conjugal  misunderstanding  and  misery  would  be 
avoided. 

I  have  known  a  woman  who  would  not  allow  her  husband  to 
shut  himself  in  the  water-closet,  for  fear  he  would  take  the 
servant  with  him!  Another  became  madly  jealous  if  a  woman 
sat  opposite  her  husband  and  cast  the  least  glance  at  him;  the 
unfortunate  husl^and  not  knowing  where  to  look,  in  the  street 
or  in  hotels,  so  as  to  escape  his  wife's  jealousy.  It  is  still  worse 
when  the  husband  is  jealous. 

Other  psychopaths  torment  the  object  of  their  love  by  the 
perpetual  care  they  take  over  imaginary  dangers  or  the  slightest 
indispositions.  Others  again  are  affected  with  hyper^esthesia, 
and  the  least  noise,  the  slightest  touch,  or  any  sudden  sensation, 
is  enough  to  throw  them  into  excitement  and  make  them  a 
nuisance  both  to  themselves  and  to  their  surroundings. 

The  pathological  exaltation  of  sentiments,  which  causes  the 
most  trifling  things  to  appear  as  deliberate  offenses,  and  mali- 
cious intentions,  is  still  more  to  be  feared.    The  disproportion 


264  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

between  love  and  sexual  appetite  also  torments  many  psycho- 
paths, either  when  a  deep  love  is  combined  with  sexual  indiffer- 
ence or  disgust  at  coitus,  or  even  pain  (vaginismus,  in  women, 
for  example);  or  when  an  intense  sexual  appetite  is  combined 
with  want  of  love  or  ferocious  egoism  (especially  in  men). 

Certain  psychopaths  appear  profoundly  amorous  but  behave 
like  brutes  to  the  object  of  their  love.  These  are  the  individuals 
who  are  always  ready  to  strangle  their  sweetheart,  to  stab  or 
shoot  her,  if  she  does  not  immediately  yield  to  their  desires;  or 
else  the  feeble  creatures  who  threaten  to  cormnit  suicide  if  their 
love  is  not  returned. 

Others,  tormented  by  a  pathological  eroticism  are  continually 
annoying  young  and  virtuous  girls  with  their  obsessions  and 
their  pathological  grossness.  I  have  seen  a  psychopath  of  this 
kind  write  letters  and  even  post  cards  to  a  young  girl,  on  which 
he  had  drawn  pictures  of  the  female  genitals,  by  way  of  gal- 
lantry. In  women,  hatred  and  vengeance,  aroused  by  jealousy, 
are  especially  blind  and  tenacious  when  the  chronic  passions  of 
psychopathia  intervene;  this  being  due  to  the  perseverance 
natural  to  the  sex.  By  the  aid  of  their  refined  intrigues;  by 
their  misrepresented  statements  due  to  the  illusions  of  a  memory 
distorted  by  passion,  but  uttered  with  a  consummate  dramatic 
art,  some  women  may  play  a  truly  diabolical  role,  and  even 
deceive  a  whole  tribunal.  When  we  get  to  the  bottom  of  the 
matter,  we  often  find  that  the  primary  cause  of  the  evil  is  a 
sexual  passion  embellished  and  idealized  afterwards  by  all  kinds 
of  noble  motives,  but  in  reality  more  or  less  unconsciously  hypo- 
critical. While  deceiving  others,  these  psychopathic  women  also 
deceive  themselves.  There  are  also  a  number  of  male  psycho- 
paths quite  analogous  to  the  above  and  generally  hysterical. 

Other  morbid  symptoms,  such  as  obsessions  and  pathological 
impulses,  have  a  certain  importance  as  regards  sexual  appetite 
and  love.  Love  or  rejection,  as  well  as  other  sexual  images,  may 
become  the  objects  of  obsessions,  and  then  cause  the  subjects 
much  torment,  but  without  harming  their  surroundings;  for 
the  obsessed  generally  remain  passive.  Pathological  impulse  to 
actions  may,  on  the  contrary,  become  dangerous  and  lead  to 
violation,  whether  combined  with  perversion  or  not. 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  265 

(12).  We  have  seen  that  senile  paradoxy  often  shows  itself,  as 
a  symptom  of  senile  dementia,  by  a  sexual  appetite  for  children. 
This  is  the  initial  symptom  of  the  complaint,  and  may  lead  to 
the  commission  of  assault.  The  holy  indignation  of  the  public, 
and  often  of  ignorant  judges,  against  these  depraved  old  men 
often  result  in  the  public  contempt  or  even  the  imprisonment 
of  poor  patients  who  have  hitherto  led  a  blameless  hfe,  and  who 
have  simply  become  victims  of  senile  degeneration  of  the  arteries 
of  the  brain. 

(13).  I  will  mention  another  case  which  1  have  observed, 
which  shows  how  complex  hereditary  cerebral  pathology  may 
become,  and  lead  in  turn  to  crime,  madness  and  sexual  per- 
version; giving  rise  to  the  most  tragic  scenes  of  human  life,  and 
to  the  degeneration  of  families. 

A  very  charming  and  intelligent,  but  deceitful  man,  an  amoral 
person  whose  heredity  was  strongly  tainted  with  mental  disease, 
had  strong  sexual  instincts  partly  inverted.  He  was  attracted 
rather  more  by  men  than  by  women,  but  committed  excesses  with 
both  sexes.  He  married  a  virtuous  and  intelligent  midwife.  At 
long  intervals  he  had  three  attacks  of  acute  mania,  but  was  cured 
after  each  attack  and  procreated  two  boys  and  a  girl.  When  he 
was  sane  he  spent  his  time  in  deceitful  occupations  and  specula- 
tion and  never  worked  honestly  to  earn  his  living.  He  behaved 
well  toward  his  wife,  but  this  did  not  prevent  him  committing 
pederasty  with  men.  He  was  often  convicted  for  pederasty 
and  swindling,  and  I  treated  him  several  times  in  an  asylum. 
His  poor  wife  complained  bitterly,  but  found  consolation 
in  her  husband's  apparent  love,  but  especially  in  the  careful 
education  of  her  children.  But  when  the  children  grew  up,  her 
illusions  disappeared  one  after  another.  The  daughter  became 
feeble-minded,  and  one  of  the  sons  became  a  bad  character.  The 
mother  consoled  herself  with  the  second  son  who  appeared  hon- 
est and  hard-working.  The  father  was  then  in  an  asylum,  his 
relapses  having  led  the  tribunal  to  institute  an  inquiry  into  his 
mental  condition.  One  day  the  mother  came  to  me  in  despair 
and  showed  me  a  letter  written  by  the  son  of  the  father,  which 
she  had  opened;  the  contents  were  as  follows:  " ^liserable  father, 
when  you  receive  this  letter  I  shall  be  no  longer  in  this  world; 
but  before  dying  I  wish  to  curse  you.  You  have  been  the  disgrace 
of  the  family.     You  have  caused  misery  to  our  mother  and  her 


266  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

children  by  your  crimes.  Why  did  you  bring  me  into  this  world? 
For  a  long  time  I  have  felt  evil  instincts  developing  in  me  like  a 
cursed  heritage.  I  struggle  in  vain  against  them;  but  the  more 
I  struggle  the  more  I  feel  I  must  succumb.  I  am  incapable  of 
resisting  much  longer;  but  I  will  not  become  a  criminal  like  you, 
so  I  shall  hang  myself  to-night,  and  I  curse  you  again  before 
doing  it." 

The  unfortunate  son  did  in  fact  commit  suicide,  and  drove  his 
mother  to  despair.  I  showed  the  father  his  son's  letter,  but  he 
only  smiled  and  shrugged  his  shoulders. 

The  following  is  another  example: 

A  man  of  50,  married,  and  the  father  of  six  children,  ranging 
from  6  to  24  years  of  age,  violated  them  all,  both  girls  and  boys. 
The  whole  family  were  abnormal  and  perverse.  A  son  of  18  had 
sexual  intercourse  with  his  mother  and  sister.  The  father  also 
had  intercourse  with  dogs  and  cats.  The  jury  before  whom  I 
brought  the  case  regarded  the  man  as  mad,  but  he  was  con- 
demned to  ten  years'  imprisonment.  An  asylum  for  dangerous 
and  perverted  lunatics  is  urgently  required  for  such  cases. 

EFFECTS  OF  NARCOTICS,   ESPECIALLY  ALCOHOL,  ON  THE 
SEXUAL    APPETITE 

The  functional  cerebral  paralyses  produced  by  narcotics 
closely  resemble  in  their  psj^'chopathological  physiognomy  the 
organic  paralyses  which  result  from  slow  atrophy  of  the  cerebral 
cortex,  as  in  general  paralysis — exaltation  of  sentiment,  tremor 
and  slowness  of  movement  up  to  total  paralysis,  disorders  of 
orientation  in  time  and  space,  profound  mental  dissociation 
affecting  the  subconscious  automatic  actions. 

At  the  same  time  the  individual  loses  the  exact  appreciation 
of  his  own  personality  and  of  the  external  world;  he  regards 
himself  as  very  capable  in  body  and  mind  while  he  is  becoming 
more  and  more  powerless;  and  everything  appears  rose-colored 
at  the  time  when  he  is  in  a  most  critical  state.  He  believes  him- 
self possessed  of  great  muscular  strength  when  paralysis  makes 
him  stagger,  and  so  on. 

At  the  commencement  of  narcosis  the  phenomena  are  some- 
what different  from  what  they  become  later;  a  certain  amount  of 
excitement  predominates,  as  well  as  the  spirit  of  enterprise  and 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  267 

exaltation  of  the  appetites;  while  later  on  paralysis,  relaxation 
and  somnolence  play  the  principal  part. 

Narcosis  acts  in  a  similar  way  on  the  genetic  sense.  It  begins 
by  exciting  sexual  desire,  but  diminishes  the  power.  As  Shake- 
spere  says:  ''Lechery  it  provokes  and  unprovokes;  it  provokes 
the  desire  but  it  takes  away  the  performance."  (Macbeth,  Act 
II,  Scene  iii.)  No  doubt  the  narcotics  are  not  all  equal  in 
action,  and  each  has  its  specific  peculiarities;  but  the  words  of 
Shakespere  express  the  essential  effect  of  all  narcotics  on  the 
sexual  appetite:  First  of  all  excitation  of  the  appetite  with  the 
disappearance  of  moral  and  intellectual  inhibitory  representa- 
tions, and  reenforcement  of  the  spirit  of  enterprise;  afterwards, 
progressive  paralysis  of  sexual  power,  and  finally  extinction  of 
the  initial  appetite  itself. 

These  phenomena  are  of  capital  importance  in  alcoholic 
narcosis,  which  plays  the  principal  part  in  civilized  countries. 
The  initial  excitation  is  here  very  accentuated.  If  we  make  a 
closer  examination,  however,  we  find  from  the  first  a  relaxation 
of  sexual  activity  and  a  weakening  of  all  sensory  irritations.  In 
coitus,  erections  are  produced  more  slowly;  the  voluptuous  sen- 
sations, it  is  true,  are  of  great  subjective  intensity,  but  they  are 
developed  more  slowly  and  there  is  more  difficulty  in  producing 
ejaculation.  The  subsequent  relaxation  is  very  great,  and  a 
man  who  is  even  only  slightly  intoxicated  cannot  perform 
coitus  as  rapidly,  nor  repeat  it  so  often,  as  when  he  has  taken  no 
alcoholic  liquor.  When  the  narcosis  increases  the  impotence 
becomes  complete.  Owing  to  the  illusion  produced  by  the  nar- 
cosis, however,  a  drunken  man  generally  imagines  himself  to  be 
very  capable. 

The  gross  and  clumsy  form  which  flirtation  assumes  under  the 
action  of  alcohol  is  only  too  well  known.  The  gross  and  per- 
sistent obscenity  of  drunken  persons  in  railway  carriages  and 
other  places  toward  women  is  an  example  of  alcoholic  flirtation. 
{Vide  Chapter  IV,) 

Another  peculiarity  of  the  sexual  appetite  in  alcoholic  narcosis 
is  its  bestiality.  The  higher  irradiations  of  love  are  completely 
paralyzed  and  sensuality  becomes  unrestrained,  even  in  men 
who,  when  sober,  are  full  of  refined  sentiments. 


268  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  depraving  effect  of  alcohol  on  the  sexual  appetite  is 
therefore  unlimited.  Alcohol  does  not  limit  itself  to  giving 
free  play  to  a  bestial  appetite,  by  paralyzing  reason  and  senti- 
ments of  sympathy  and  duty;  it  also  has  a  strong  tendency  to 
pervert  the  appetite  itself.  In  a  considerable  proportion  of 
cases  of  exhibitionism,  inversion,  pederosis,  sodomy,  etc.,  the 
development  of  the  perversion  is  greatly  favored,  or  even  directly 
produced,  by  the  action  of  alcohol,  especially  when  there  is  a 
latent  predisposition.  I  have  observed  a  whole  series  of  per- 
versions in  persons  whose  sexual  appetite  was  normal  when  they 
were  sober,  but  became  perverted  on  the  slightest  intoxication. 
I  am  convinced  that  if  more  attention  was  paid  to  the  subject 
the  number  of  cases  in  which  alcohol  increases  the  perversion, 
or  is  even  necessary  for  its  development,  would  be  increased. 

But  what  is  of  much  greater  importance  is  the  fact  that  acute 
and  chronic  alcoholic  intoxication  deteriorates  the  germinal  pro- 
toplasm of  the  procreators.  I  refer  the  reader  to  what  I  have 
said  at  the  end  of  Chapter  I  on  blastophthoria.  The  recent 
researches  of  Bezzola  seem  to  prove  that  the  old  belief  in  the  - 
bad  quality  of  children  conceived  during  drunkenness  is  not 
without  foundation.  Relying  on  the  Swiss  census  of  1900,  in 
which  there  figure  nine  thousand  idiots,  and  after  careful  exami- 
nation of  the  bulletins  concerning  them,  this  author  has  proved 
that  there  are  two  acute  annual  maximum  periods- for  the  con- 
ception of  idiots  (calculated  from  nine  months  before  birth) ; 
the  periods  of  carnival  and  vintage,  when  the  people  drink  most. 
In  the  wine-growing  districts  the  maximum  conception  of  idiots 
at  the  time  of  vintage  is  enormous,  while  it  is  almost  nil  at  other 
periods.  Moreover,  these  two  maximum  periods  come  at  the 
time  of  year  when  conception  is  at  a  minimum  among  the  rest 
of  the  population;  the  maximum  of  normal  conceptions  occur- 
ring at  the  beginning  of  summer. 

If  these  facts  are  confirmed  b}''  further  research,  we  may  con- 
clude that  even  acute  alcoholism  has  a  blastophthoric  action. 
We  may,  therefore,  assume  that  when  a  germinal  cell  leaves  its 
gland  at  the  moment  when  it  is  impregnated  with  alcohol,  and 
achieves  conjugation,  it  is  unable  to  return  to  its  normal  condi- 
tion, for  want  of  opportunity  to  be  completely  and  promptly 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  269 

cleansed  by  nutrition  and  the  circulation.  This  explains  how  it 
may  transmit  to  the  individual  which  develops  from  it  all 
kinds  of  taints  and  defects. 

After  what  we  have  said,  we  can  tabulate  the  destructive 
effects  of  the  narcotic  poisons  and  alcohol  in  particular,  in  the 
sexual  domain,  both  from  the  individual  and  social  points  of 
view,  as  follows: 

(1).  Irreflective  sexual  unions,  resulting  from  exaltation  of 
the  sexual  appetite  and  temporary  paralysis  of  the  senti- 
ments which  inhibit  such  unions  in  persons  who  are  not 
under  the  influence  of  alcohol.  These  include  the  seduction 
of  girls,  orgies  with  prostitutes  in  brothels,  and  the  procrea- 
tion of  children  with  low-class  women,  or  under  unfavorable 
conditions. 

(2).  Increase  of  venereal  disease.  I  have  made  statistics 
which  show  that  about  75  per  cent,  of  venereal  disease  is  con- 
tracted by  men  under  the  influence  of  alcohol,  chiefly  by  per- 
sons who  are  slightly  intoxicated  and  rendered  enterprising 
thereby. 

(3).  All  kinds  of  misfortunes  and  catastrophes,  such  as 
illegitimate  pregnancies,  despair,  suicide,  etc.,  resulting  from 
irreflective  sexual  unions  and  venereal  disease. 

(4).  The  production  of  the  majority  of  sexual  crimes  also 
resulting  from  the  exasperation  of  eroticism  combined  with 
irreflection  and  general  motor  impulsiveness.  Jealousy  here  plays 
a  gi-eat  part.  The  most  important  statistics  (for  example, 
those  of  Baer,  in  Germany),  prove  that  from  50  to  75  per  cent, 
of  criminal  assaults  are  committed  under  the  influence  of  alco- 
hol. Indecent  exposure,  etc.,  is  due  to  alcohol  in  75  or  80  per 
cent. 

(5).  Exaltation  and  sometimes  development  of  sexual  per- 
version. 

(6).  Creation  of  hereditary  alcoholic  blastophthoria,  either  as 
the  result  of  a  single  drinking  bout,  or  from  habitual  drunken- 
ness. The  offspring  tainted  with  alcoholic  blastophthoria  suffer 
from  various  bodily  and  physical  anomalies,  among  which  are 
dwarfism,  rickets,  a  predisposition  to  tuberculosis  and  epilepsy, 
moral  idiocy  and  idiocy  in  general,  a  disposition  to  crime  and 


270  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

mental  diseases,  sexual  perversions,  loss  of  suckling  in  women, 
and  many  other  misfortunes. 

(7).  The  delu'ium  of  jealousy  is  a  specific  symptom  of  chronic 
alcoholism.  Its  effects  are  terrible  and  lead  to  all  kinds  of  sorts 
of  infamies,  assaults  and  even  assassination. 

(8) .  Alcohol  is  also  the  almost  indispensable  vehicle  of  prosti- 
tution and  proxenetism,  which  could  not  be  maintained  without 
it,  at  any  rate  in  their  present  disgusting  and  brutal  form. 

(9).  The  coarseness  and  vulgarity  of  alcoholic  eroticism  pro- 
duce in  public  places,  as  well  as  in  private,  an  importunate 
and  obscene  form  of  flirtation,  which  is  brutally  and  cynically 
opposed  to  all  sentiments  of  propriety  and  modesty. 

The  above  statements  refer  chiefly  to  men.  Among  women, 
alcoholism  is  less  common,  at  least  in  continental  Europe;  in 
En'gland,  however,  drunken  women  are  often  seen  in  the 
streets.  Among  prostitutes,  however,  alcoholism  is  almost 
universal.  Proxenetism  makes  use  of  alcohol  to  compromise 
and  seduce  girls  and  thus  lead  them  to  prostitution.  When  they 
have  once  fallen  they  often  drink  to  forget  the  horror  of  their 
situation. 

The  action  of  alcohol  on  the  feminine  sexual  appetite  is  very 
peculiar.  The  appetite  is  generally  exalted,  while  the  power  is 
not  affected,  owing  to  the  passive  role  of  woman  in  coitus.  At 
first,  paralysis  of  the  psychic  inhibitions  and  their  higher  irra- 
diations (love,  duty,  modesty,  etc.)  by  alcohol  deprives  the 
woman  of  nearly  all  power  of  resistance  against  the  sexual  de- 
sire of  the  man.  It  results  from  this  that  an  intoxicated  woman 
becomes  the  easy  prey  of  a  man  whose  sexual  appetite  is  excited. 
The  following  case  is  instructive  from  this  point  of  view: 

A  young  girl  of  good  position  married  a  man  of  weak  and  vulgar 
character.  Both  were  rather  fond  of  drink.  When  she  became 
pregnant  the  wife  took  large  quantities  of  wine,  by  the  doctor's 
orders,  and  this  led  her  to  inebriety.  The  friends  and  acquaint- 
ances of  the  husband  found  this  amusing,  and  began  to  flirt  with 
her  to  such  an  extent  that  she  fell  a  victim  to  their  sexual  appe- 
tites, in  her  continual  state  of  semi-intoxication.  The  husband 
at  first  had  not  the  courage  to  put  an  end  to  this  and  did  not  wish 
to  divorce  her,  for  pecuniary  reasons;  for  the  wife  had  the  money. 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  271 

He  finally  decided  to  send  her  to  an  asylum  which  I  superintended, 
to  cure  her  alcoholism. 

From  the  antecedents  of  the  patient,  I  expected  to  see  a  cynical 
and  erotic  woman;  but  she  was  nothing  of  the  kind.  Although 
hardly  sober,  this  woman  was  modest  and  well-behaved.  What 
struck  me  most  was  her  extreme  of  modesty,  which  at  first  made 
it  difficult  for  me  to  investigate  her  psychological  state.  Her  con- 
duct was  exemplary  the  whole  time,  and  she  eventually  confided 
to  me  that  it  was  not  so  much  sexual  desire  as  the  profound  indif- 
ference and  feebleness  developed  by  inebriety  which  had  caused 
her  to  give  way.  Before  leaving  the  asylum  she  joined  a  total 
abstinence  society,  returned  to  her  husband  and  succeeded  in 
converting  him  also  to  total  abstinence.  She  kept  to  her  pledge 
and  lived  afterwards  in  conjugal  peace  and  happiness,  without 
ever  relapsing  into  her  old  infidelity.  I  saw  her  several  years 
afterwards  with  her  husband,  happy  and  flourishing. 

I  have  mentioned  this  case  to  show  that,  even  in  women, 
sexual  excess  does  not  necessarily  destroy  the  character,  the 
sentiments  of  modesty,  nor  the  will.  It  all  depends  on  their 
cause.  If  there  is  congenital  weakness  of  character,  the  evil  is 
irreparable;  but  if  it  is  only  due  to  external  forces  which  can  be 
eliminated  in  time,  its  effect  may  often  be  permanently  sup- 
pressed. Some  female  inebriates  are  sexually  cold  and  repulse 
men;   but  others  are  erotic  and  even  nymphomaniacs. 

Whosoever  has  the  welfare  of  humanity  at  heart,  and  takes 
the  trouble  to  reflect  on  the  ravages  caused  by  alcohol  in  human 
society,  should  have  the  courage  to  make  a  slight  effort  and 
renounce  all  alcoholic  drink — say  for  six  months  at  first,  as  an 
experiment — in  order  to  combat  the  social  alcoholic  misery  by 
force  of  example,  instead  of  empty  phrases.  He  will  then 
discover,  like  all  abstainers,  that  the  usage  of  alcohol  (includ- 
ing wine,  cider  and  beer)  however  small  the  quantity  con- 
sumed, only  serves  to  maintain  a  habit  which  is  vicious  and 
disastrous  to  society,  by  giving  the  contagious  example  of  so- 
called  moderation,  to  which  a  great  number  of  persons  cannot 
restrict  themselves.  He  will  then  abstain  for  the  rest  of  his  days, 
and  it  will  become  more  and  more  incomprehensible  to  him  how 
humanity  has  been  led,  first  by  the  spirit  of  imitation,  later  by 


272  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

the  conservation  of  prejudices,  to  develop,  maintain  and  defend 
such  a  social  abuse  by  the  aid  of  a  legion  of  sophisms. 


SEXUAL  ANOMALIES   AND   PERVERSIONS   BY    SUGGESTION 
AND    AUTO-SUGGESTION 

The  role  of  the  phenomena  of  suggestion  in  sexual  life  is  much 
greater  than  is  generally  supposed.  I  shall  retm-n  to  this  sub- 
ject in  a  special  chapter,  but  I  may  state  here  that  there  is  a 
category  of  sexual  perversions  and  anomalies  of  all  kinds  which 
are  not  hereditary  but  acquired,  and  which  Krafft-Ebing, 
although  he  cites  striking  examples,  -^Tongly  attributes  to  the 
effect  of  sexual  excess  and  depravity,  or  which  he  compares  to 
ordinary  psychopathia,  while  in  reality  they  are  only  the  dh-ect 
effect  of  strong  suggestion  or  auto-suggestion. 

I  place  in  this  category  the  cases  where  a  man,  whose  sexuality 
has  hitherto  been  normal,  suddenly  becomes  pathological  as  the 
result  of  some  circumstance  which  produces  on  him  a  profound 
impression.  For  instance,  the  sexual  appetite  of  an  individual 
may  be  strongly  excited,  in  a  brothel  or  elsewhere,  by  an  erotic 
woman  whose  feet  or  shoes  are  especially  elegant.  The  sight 
of  this  well-fitted  foot  exalts  his  sexual  desire  to  a  high  degi'ee. 
From  this  moment  feminine  shoes,  by  subjective  association, 
exercise  on  him  an  irresistible  erotic  power,  which  dominates 
everything  else  and  transforms  him  into  a  fetichist;  the  female 
body  no  longer  elicits  his  appetite,  the  latter  having  become 
the  slave  of  the  image  of  shoes  only.     (Shoe  fetichism.) 

Sexual  inversion  may  also  be  acquired  by  suggestion,  when  a 
normal  man  becomes  excited  by  acts  of  masturbation  or  ped- 
erasty, or  simply  by  some  psychic  image  with  a  strongly  sug- 
gestive action.  He  may  thus  lose  his  normal  sexual  appetite 
for  women  and  become  homosexual. 

These  phenomena  occur  especially  in  individuals  whose  sug- 
gestibility is  pathological  or  hysterical,  or  even  simply  exagger- 
ated. But  these  individuals  are  numerous,  and  this  fact  gives 
us  the  explanation  of  a  large  proportion  of  acquired  sexual 
anomahes,  at  the  same  time  indicating  the  means  of  curing 
them.    In  such  cases,  it  is  not  a  question  of  moral  depravity, 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  273 

nor  necessarily  of  a  latent  hereditary  predisposition,  but  simply 
of  a  single  sudden  suggestive  action,  sometimes  repeated. 

Among  other  cases,  I  may  mention  that  of  a  well-educated 
man  of  very  refined  sentiments,  deeply  in  love  with  his  wife, 
but  very  suggestible,  who  became  suddenly  impotent  and  homo- 
sexual as  the  result  of  a  simple  idea-image  which  became  fixed 
in  his  mind  and  subjected  it  by  suggestion.  His  strong  charac- 
ter enabled  him  to  resist  intercourse  with  males,  but  he  fell 
into  despair  and  became  very  unhappy.  I  am  convinced  that 
a  careful  study  would  reveal  an  increasing  number  of  cases  of 
psychopathia  acquired  by  suggestion  or  auto-suggestion. 

Cases  of  this  kind  may  be  spontaneously  cured.  Treatment 
by  suggestion  is  indicated  and  may  act  directly  or  indirectly. 
Everything  which  is  of  a  functional  psychic  nature  may  occur 
by  suggestion,  or  be,  on  the  contrary,  eradicated  by  suggestion. 
The  important  point  is  to  emphasize  the  fact  that  whenever  a 
man,  hitherto  normal,  is  affected,  without  apparent  cause,  with 
a  more  or  less  sudden  sexual  anomaly,  and  which  is  consequently 
not  the  effect  of  long  habit,  suggestion  or  auto-suggestion  should 
be  borne  in  mind. 

These  two  conceptions  can,  moreover,  be  hardly  distinguished, 
for  the  things  which  cause  suggestion  are  usually  the  sensory 
perceptions  of  sight,  smell,  touch  and  hearing,  associated  with 
certain  situations,  or  with  an  intense  affective  state  which  fixes 
them  in  the  brain.  Sometimes  it  is  a  question  of  simple  imagi- 
native ideas.  The  cases  where  a  hypnotizer  intentionally  sug- 
gests sexual  perversion  proflably  exist  only  in  theory.  We  are, 
therefore,  concerned  with  fortuitous  suggestions,  acting  through 
persons,  situations,  objects  or  ideas,  which  excite  the  mind 
by  the  impression  they  produce  on  the  sentiments  and  the 
sexual  appetite. 

SEXUAL  PERVERSIONS  DUE  TO  HABIT 

Without  being  congenital  and  without  depending  on  a  special 
predisposition,  all  the  perversions  of  the  sexual  appetite  that  we 
have  just  described  may  be  acquired,  by  means  of  the  artificial 
and  continued  excitation  of  a  sexual  appetite  which  seeks  satis- 
faction in  change  and  unusual  situations.     Moreover,  perverse 


274  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

satisfaction  of  the  sexual  appetite  is  often  resorted  to — onanism, 
pederasty  or  oral  coitus — either  to  avoid  conception,  or  with 
the  idea  of  escaping  venereal  disease,  or  in  the  case  of 
onanism,  to  avoid  publicity,  trouble  or  expense.  As  we  have 
seen  above  alcohol  favors  the  development  of  sexual  perversions. 

It  is  evident  that  a  commerce  in  women  systematically  toler- 
ated by  the  state,  as  is  the  proxenetism  of  regulated  prostitution, 
employs  all  means  imaginable  to  attract  and  excite  its  clients. 
In  this  way  prostitution  becomes  the  high-school  for  all  the 
refinements  of  sexual  perversion.  It  not  only  offers  special 
objects  required  by  individuals  tainted  by  heredity  with  various 
perversions,  but  it  artificially  develops  perverse  habits  in  the 
normal  man.  The  manipulations  of  sadism  or  masochism  are 
even  utilized  to  revive  a  sexual  appetite  weakened  by  abuse. 
Individuals  who  have  become  impotent  often  try  to  excite  them- 
selves by  observing  the  coitus  of  others.  In  fact  a  leaven  of 
corruption  and  ignominy  ferments  on  the  dunghill  of  venal  and 
artificial  excitation  of  the  sexual  appetite. 

The  apostles  of  Mammon  and  Bacchus,  the  former  by  interest, 
the  latter  by  the  aid  of  a  narcosis  which  paralyzes  the  higher 
sentiments  and  reflection,  work  in  concert  to  maintain  this  foul 
swamp.  The  same  individuals  very  commonly  combine  the 
two  apostleships  and  become  themselves  the  victims  of  their 
false  gods,  after  sacrificing  hundreds  of  their  fellows. 

To  make  matters  more  clear  I  will  recapitulate  as  follows: 

(1).  We  often  meet  with  pederasty  without  a  trace  of  inver- 
sion of  the  sexual  appetite.  It  is  also  practiced  on  women  by 
introducing  the  penis  into  the  rectum.  But  the  normal  man 
hardly  ever  prefers  it  to  normal  coitus. 

(2).  Compensatory  masturbation  is  very  common  and  ceases 
with  the  opportunity  for  normal  coitus. 

(3).  Sodomy  is  also  often  compensatory. 

(4).  It  is  the  same  with  assaults  on  children,  which  seldom 
depend  on  a  hereditary  disposition. 

(5).  Lesbian  love,  coitus  by  the  mouth,  artificial  excitation 
of  the  clitoris  by  the  tongue  or  otherwise,  may  have  quite  a 
different  origin  than  from  sexual  inversion  or  other  perversions. 

All  these  things  take  place  chiefly  in  brothels  or  with  prosti- 


SEXUAL  PATHOLOGY  275 

tutes,  in  barracks,  boarding-schools,  convents,  and  other  isolated 
places  where  men  and  women  live  alone  and  separated  from  the 
other  sex. 

Sadism,  masochism,  fetichism  and  exhibitionism  are  much 
more  rarely  the  result  of  habits,  because  their  object  and  the 
images  with  which  they  are  associated  do  not  offer  compensa- 
tion for  the  normal  excitation  of  the  sexual  appetite,  or  only  do 
so  insufficiently. 

I  am  here  obliged  to  contradict  Krafft-Ebing,  who  regards 
exhibitionism  as  the  effect  of  the  impotence  of  certain  individuals 
depraved  by  excesses,  or  as  the  unconscious  act  of  certain 
epileptics.  No  doubt  the  two  conditions  which  he  mentions 
may  present  themselves,  but  the  exhibitionists  I  have  observed 
have  all  been  psychopaths  whose  perversion  was  primordial  and 
hereditary,  with  the  exception  of  some  females  in  whom  per- 
version originated  in  suggestion  or  alcoholism,  which  had  at 
any  rate  aroused  the  disposition. 

Lesbian  love  merits  special  mention.  Owing  to  the  clitoris 
being  more  or  less  concealed,  women  are  often  not  satisfied  by 
coitus,  especially  when  the  ejaculation  of  the  male  takes  place 
too  quickly.  Consequently  a  number  of  normal  women  prefer 
to  procure  an  orgasm  by  means  of  lesbian  love  (cunnilingus.) 
There  are  clubs  of  female  perverts,  many  of  whom  are  not  homo- 
sexual by  heredity. 

Although  they  differ  from  hereditary  perversions,  acquired 
perversions  are  connected  with  the  former  by  a  series  of  latent 
hereditary  dispositions,  more  or  less  marked,  and  often  difficult 
to  distinguish  in  particular  cases,  especially  when  suggestion  is 
blended  with  them. 

Among  the  entirely  hereditary  and  congenital  sexual  per- 
versions, many  occur  in  individuals  who  are  well  conducted  and 
often  possessed  of  delicate  and  altruistic  sentiments.  This  point 
is  not  sufficiently  recognized.  Such  persons  are  nearly  always 
more  or  less  neurotic  in  other  respects.  They  are  disheartened 
by  their  perversion  and  are  so  much  ashamed  of  it  that  they 
often  prefer  to  carry  their  secret  to  the  grave  rather  than  con- 
fide it  to  their  doctor. 

Others  sometimes  confess  to  a  doctor,  and  the  life  of  a  martyr, 


276  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

who  is  always  contemplating  suicide,  is  revealed  to  him.  Indi- 
viduals of  feeble,  cynical,  egoistic  or  abnormal  natures,  whose 
number  is  legion  in  the  corrupt  centers  of  modern  civilization, 
yield  to  their  perversion  and  often  come  before  the  tribunals, 
or  else  become  objects  of  public  contempt.  As  it  is  this  class 
which  generally  become  known,  it  is  assumed  by  too  hasty  gen- 
eralization that  sexual  perverts  are  necessarily  cynical,  vicious 
or  weak-minded  individuals;  but  this  induction  is  false.  It  is 
unfortunately  impossible  to  estimate  the  number  of  sexual  per- 
versions dissimulated  by  a  large  number  of  pessimists  of  both 
sexes,  generally  celibate  and  usually  males. 

I  do  not  pretend  that,  w^hen  sexual  perversion  is  neither 
hereditary  nor  favored  by  a  latent  hereditary  predisposition, 
nor  developed  or  fixed  by  alcoholism,  it  is  usually  possible  to 
cm'e  it  by  suggestion.  This  often  acts  even  in  cases  where 
alcohol  has  aroused  a  hereditary  taint.  The  incorrigible 
recidivists  among  the  sexual  perverts  are,  I  am  convinced,  either 
hereditaiy  or  strongly  predisposed,  or  degenerated  by  alco- 
hoHsm.  The  original  will  power  of  the  pervert  is  also  of  great 
miportance.    Weak-willed  perverts  always  tend  to  relapse. 

The  social  sanitation  of  sexual  intercom-se  would  certainly 
reduce  to  a  minimum  the  compensatory  perversions  of  normal 
persons  who  abstain  from  alcohol.  The  prohibition  of  alcoholic 
drink  would  definitely  eliminate  not  only  the  perversions  di- 
rectly due  to  alcohol,  but  gradually  also  those  due  to  alcoholic 
blastophthoria  in  the  descendants.  Other  hereditary  perversions, 
not  of  alcohohc  origin,  can  only  be  definitely  eliminated  by 
healthy  selection. 

Per\^ersions  acquired  by  suggestion  or  auto-suggestion  should 
be  combated  by  suppression  of  the  depraved  examples  which 
cause  them,  as  well  as  by  treatment  by  suggestion.  It  is  need- 
less to  say  that  sexual  perverts  should  always  abstain  from 
alcoholic  drinks. 


CHAPTER   IX 

SUGGESTION  IN   SEXUAL   LIFE — AMOROUS   INTOXICATION 

Suggestion.  Cerebral  Activity.  Consciousness.  Subcon- 
sciousness and  Amnesia.  Auto-suggestion. — The  explanation 
of  the  phenomena  of  hypnotism  and  suggestion  by  Liebeault 
and  Bernheim  has  been  a  veritable  scientific  revelation  for  hu- 
man psychology.  Unfortunately  it  has  remained  to  a  great 
extent  unknown  to  the  public  and  the  majority  of  medical  men 
and  jurists.  Even  at  the  present  day,  this  subject  is  regarded 
either  in  the  light  of  magic  and  occult  phenomena,  or  as  being 
connected  with  imposture  and  charlatanism.  This  results  from 
the  incapacity  of  most  men  to  think  in  a  psychological  and  philo- 
sophical manner,  to  observe  for  themselves  and  to  take  into 
account  the  connection  which  exists  between  the  mind  and 
cerebral  activity. 

I  must  point  out  the  common  error  of  many  physicians,  who 
do  not  understand  the  psychological  nature  of  hypnotism,  and 
who  place  it,  like  Dubois,  in  antinomy  with  psychotherapy. 
Hypnotism  and  suggestion  in  the  waking  state  are  one  and  the 
same  thing;  but  what  the  physicians  I  have  mentioned  under- 
stand by  suggestion  in  the  waking  state — psychotherapy, 
action  by  will  power,  etc. — is  only  a  chaos  of  misapplied  terms 
and  psychological  phenomena,  only  half  understood  by  them. 
Sleep  by  suggestion  is  only  one  of  the  phenomena  of  suggestion. 

I  must  refer  the  reader  to  Bernheim's  book  on  "La  Suggestion 
et  ses  Applications  h  la  Therapeutique,"  and  to  my  book  on 
hypnotism  {"  Der  Hypnotismus  und  die  Suggestive  Psycho- 
therapie."  Stuttgart,  1902),  for  I  cannot  enter  into  the  details 
here.  I  will,  however,  attempt  to  make  clear  the  action  of 
suggestion  in  order  to  explain  its  connection  with  the  sexual 
sensations  and  sentiments. 

277 


278  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Suggestion  consists  in  the  action  of  ideas  or  representations 
on  the  activity  of  the  brain  in  general,  and  on  some  of  its  activi- 
ties in  particular.  The  terms  idea-force  and  ideoplasty  have  been 
employed;  but  all  ideas  are  at  the  same  time  forces  and  are 
more  or  less  ideoplastic  according  to  the  nature  and  intensity  of 
the  cerebral  acti\aty  which  corresponds  to  them.  Eveiy  repre- 
sentation which  appears  in  our  consciousness  is  at  the  same 
time  a  cerebral  activity.  I  will  explain  by  the  aid  of  an  example 
the  relation  which  exists  between  the  play  of  our  conscious 
ideas  and  what  is  incorrectly  called  our  unconscious  cerebral 
activity. 

For  reasons  which  are  too  long  to  explain  here,  I  call  suh- 
conscious  all  which  is  usually  called  unconscious,  because  I 
maintain  that  there  is  probably  nothing  unconscious  in  oiu* 
nervous  activity,  and  that  what  appears  to  be  so  is  in  reality 
accompanied  by  an  introspection,  subordinated  like  its  corre- 
sponding activity  to  the  great  and  clear  introspection  of  the 
higher  brain,  which  accompanies  the  concentrated  and  mobile 
activity  of  what  we  call  our  attention  in  the  waking  state.  No 
doubt,  we  do  not  as  a  rule  perceive  our  subconscious  activities, 
for  want  of  sufficient  intensity  in  their  association  with  the 
series  of  aperceptions  (states  subsequent  to  attentional  activity). 
But  we  possess  a  number  of  observations,  due  especially  to  hj'p- 
notism,  which  allow  us  to  infer  by  analogy  the  existence  of  sub- 
ordinated introspections  corresponding  to  the  cerebral  activities 
which  appear  to  us  unconscious. 

For  example,  I  think  of  my  vnie.  This  idea  immediately 
calls  to  mind  that  of  a  journey  that  I  intend  to  take  with  her, 
and  in  its  tm'n  the  idea  of  the  journey  recalls  that  of  the  trimk 
I  shall  use  to  pack  my  effects.  Almost  as  rapidly  as  lightning, 
the  three  ideas:  (1)  my  wife;  (2)  the  journey;  (3)  the  trunk, 
apparently  succeed  each  other  in  my  consciousness.  But,  ac- 
cording to  the  old  scholasticism,  the  idea  of  the  journey  is 
awakened  by  that  of  my  wife,  and  that  of  my  trunk  by  that  of 
the  journey,  which  would,  therefore,  be  its  "cause."  But  a 
little  observation  soon  shows  that  the  succession  of  our  con- 
scious ideas  is  not  so  easUy  explained,  for  at  eveiy  moment  rep- 
resentations appear  which  have  no  logical  relation  to  those 


SUGGESTION   IN   SEXUAL   LIFE  279 

which  precede  them,  and  cannot  be  caused  by  them,  nor  by 
immediate  sensory  perceptions  coming  from  without. 

At  a  time  when  the  activity  of  the  brain  was  not  understood, 
the  existence  of  an  essential  mind  and  a  free  will  were  assumed 
independent  of  the  law  of  the  conservation  of  energy  and  of  the 
law  of  causality,  independent  therefore  of  the  brain,  the  activity 
of  which  they  commanded  more  or  less  at  their  pleasure.  This 
conception  is  based  on  ignorance  of  the  facts. 

Let  us  return  to  our  example:  why  does  the  idea  of  my  wife 
call  to  mind  that  of  the  journey?  It  might  quite  as  well  suggest 
others.  In  reality,  a  number  of  ideas,  or  subconscious  cerebral 
activities,  act  at  the  same  time  as  that  of  my  wife  to  give  rise 
to  the  idea  of  the  journey.  This  journey  had  already  been 
decided  on  before  thinking  of  it  at  the  moment  in  question, 
and  the  resolution  that  I  had  taken  to  make  it  had  left  in  my 
brain  latent  impressions  (engrams)  which  slumbered  there;  such 
as  those  of  the  date  of  departure,  the  duration  of  the  journey, 
its  termination,  precautions  to  be  taken  for  the  house  during 
our  absence,  things  to  take  with  us,  expenses,  etc.,  etc.  During 
the  infinitely  short  time  when  the  idea  of  journey  appears 
in  my  consciousness,  between  that  of  my  wife  and  that  of  my 
trunk,  I  have  no  consciousness  of  all  these  things.  They  are, 
however,  closely  associated  with  the  idea  of  journey,  and  in 
connection  with  it  by  the  thousand  threads  of  a  subconscious 
and  latent  cerebral  force  which  takes  place  in  my  cerebral  nerve- 
elements  (neurones) ;  and  it  is  their  hidden  action  which  awak- 
ens the  idea  of  journey  and  directs  my  attention  to  it,  at  the 
same  time  weakening  by  their  divers  interferences  the  intensity 
of  other  associated  engrams;  in  particular  that  of  the  sentiment 
of  traveling,  and  thereby  preventing  a  series  of  ideo-motor 
sensations  relating  to  departure  from  becoming  predominant. 

What  suddenly  appears  in  my  consciousness  is  the  verbal 
representation  symbolized  by  the  word  journey;  a  general  rep- 
resentation of  synthetic  nature,  and  consequently  nebulous.  It 
is  the  words  of  language  only  which  allow  me  to  synthetize  a 
general  idea  in  a  short  and  definite  form.  Thus,  the  cerebral 
flash  journey  which  follows  the  idea  of  my  wife  is  not  caused 
by  the  latter  idea  alone;    it  has  been  mainly  drawn  from  its 


280  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

obscurity  and  brought  before  the  mobile  conscious  attention,  by 
the  action  of  the  thousand  subconscious  threads,  some  of  which 
we  have  just  mentioned,  and  which  have  at  the  same  time 
determined  its  quaUty. 

Without  my  being  aware  of  it,  these  dynamic  thi*eads,  or 
latent  engrams,  have  to  a  great  extent  determined  the  kind  of 
idea  which  will  follow  that  of  journey,  and  which  will  seem  to 
me  to  be  caused  by  this  last  alone,  namely  the  idea  of  trunk. 
The  idea  of  journey  might  equally  well  have  awakened  other 
images,  such  as  those  of  the  acquaintances  whom  I  should  meet, 
or  of  the  to^^^l  I  intended  to  visit.  Why  that  of  the  trunk? 
This  is  simply  because  the  care  of  the  effects  to  be  taken,  the 
place  they  should  occupy,  etc.,  revolved  unconsciously  but 
strongly  in  my  brain,  and  for  the  moment  predominated  over 
other  subconscious  associations. 

This  simple  example  shows  us  that  in  reality  the  three  suc- 
cessive ideas,  wife,  journey,  trunk,  are  more  under  the  influence  of 
sentiments,  representations  and  former  voUtions  in  a  latent  and 
subconscious  state,  than  dependent  on  each  other.  But  these 
latter  activities  are  themselves  the  product  of  other  antece- 
dent activities  of  my  brain,  extraordinarily  diverse  and  com- 
plex. I  will  attempt  to  make  things  a  little  more  complete  and 
comprehensible  by  the  aid  of  a  comparison. 

A  man  finds  himself  in  the  middle  of  a  compact  and  moving 
crowd.  He  cries  out  to  attract  the  attention  of  the  crowd.  His 
voice  is  heard  by  those  immediately  around  him,  but  is  lost  on 
the  moving  mass.  Against  his  will  he  is  carried  away  by  the 
crowd  in  the  direction  of  the  strongest  movement.  But  if  the 
crowd  is  immobile  and  tranquil  the  same  man  may  make  himself 
heard,  and  may  even  force  his  way  through  the  crowd  and  impel 
it  in  his  turn  by  the  impression  that  his  words  have  made  on  it. 

Something  analogous  to  this  occurs  in  the  action  of  an  idea 
according  as  it  is  produced  in  a  brain  which  is  awake,  active  and 
strongly  associated,  or  on  the  contrary  in  a  brain  which  rests 
and  sleeps.  The  brain  which  is  active  and  strongly  associated 
resembles  the  agitated  crowd  which  carries  away  everything  by 
its  activity.  In  this  case  a  single  idea,  like  a  single  man,  cries 
out  in  vain,  i.e.,  is  produced  strongly;  it  will  not  impel,  but  will 


SUGGESTION  IN   SEXUAL  LIFE  281 

be  carried  away  or  stifled,  unless  it  already  possesses,  by  the 
former  remembrances  (engrams)  which  it  may  revive,  a  par- 
ticular power  over  the  brain.  It  is  the  same  with  the  agitated 
crowd;  if  the  man  who  cries  out  is  aheady  known  and  has 
influence  and  power,  he  may  arrest  it  and  even  bring  it  toward 
the  center  of  his  agitation.  The  brain  which  is  at  rest  or  sleep- 
ing, i.e.,  feebly  associated  and  not  active,  resembles  the  immobile 
crowd.  Even  when  it  is  new  and  has  not  yet  become  fixed  in 
the  memory,  an  idea  may  produce  a  deep  impression,  and 
awaken  activities  in  its  own  direction.  I  repeat,  if  this  idea 
has  already  acted  more  or  less  powerfully  on  the  cerebral  activ- 
ity that  it  has  often  carried  with  it,  it  has  accustomed  this  to 
follow  it  {i.e.,  fortified  the  engrams  and  facilitated  their  ecpho- 
ria),  and  then  the  powerful  associated  engrams  which  it  has  left 
in  the  organ  of  thought,  will  often  be  capable  of  carrying  every- 
thing with  them,  even  to  the  center  of  the  agitation. 

In  this  way  I  succeeded  in  suddenly  calming  by  hypnotism  a 
woman  who  was  mad  with  despair  over  the  tragic  death  of  half 
her  family  in  a  fire,  by  the  simple  fact  that  I  had  often  hypno- 
tized her  previously.  Immediately  after  the  hypnosis  she  went 
away  quietly  to  the  place  of  the  disaster  and  was  the  only  one  to 
keep  her  presence  of  mind  and  put  things  in  order. 

I  refer  the  reader  to  what  has  been  said  concerning  the  mneme 
(Chapter  I).     Semon's  theory  throws  light  on  these  questions. 

The  first  thing  necessary  for  suggestion  or  hypnotism  is  to  put 
the  brain  of  the  subject  in  a  state  of  relative  repose,  so  as  to 
prepare  a  soil  ready  to  receive  suggestions.  These  are  then 
made  so  as  to  always  increase  the  cerebral  repose,  in  order  to 
weaken  the  action  of  the  threads  of  subconscious  association  of 
which  we  have  spoken  above.  Lastly,  the  suggestion  (or  idea 
which  symbolizes  the  effect  it  is  desired  to  obtain)  is  accentuated 
as  much  as  possible,  and  in  a  form  which  at  once  excludes  all 
contradiction.  For  this  purpose  everything  should  be  utilized 
— sentiments  and  associations  which  are  easily  introduced, 
agreeable  or  repulsive  sensations,  volitions,  etc.  Nothing  para- 
lyzes a  suggestive  effect  so  much  as  emotions,  violent  sentiments 
in  general,  inclinations,  or  repulsions  which  act  in  the  opposite 
direction,  whether  they  arise  from  fear,  despair,  hatred,  sadness. 


282  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

joy,  love  or  any  kind  of  affective  conditions.  The  same  brain, 
accessible  to  all  kinds  of  suggestions,  will  repress  some  of  them 
as  soon  as  it  feels  a  deep  sympathy  for  their  contrary.  We  may 
suggest  in  vain  to  an  amorous  woman,  the  hatred  or  disgust  of 
her  lover,  for  the  sentiment  of  love  is  stronger  than  the  effect  of 
a  strange  suggestion,  and  every  suggestion  which  opposes  the 
strongest  aspirations  of  sentiment  provokes  mistrust  and  repul- 
sion, which  in  their  turn  destroy  all  suggestive  power. 

As  we  have  indicated  in  our  comparison,  every  suggestion 
which  has  succeeded  leaves  a  strong  trace,  or  engi-am,  in  the 
brain.  It  has  opened  a  way  by  breaking  down  a  barrier  or  a 
chasm,  and  its  effect,  which  appeared  hitherto  difficult  or  im- 
possible to  realize,  will  henceforth  be  much  more  easy  to  obtain. 
This  is  why  considerable  cerebral  repose  is  often  necessary  at 
first  to  open  a  way  for  a  suggestion,  while  later  on  its  effect  can 
often  be  obtained  even  during  the  agitation  of  cerebral  activ- 
ity strongly  associated  with  or  even  led  by  violent  momentary 
sentiments. 

The  chief  characteristic  of  suggestive  action,  is  that  it  trav- 
erses the  paths  of  subconscious  activity,  so  that  its  effect  occurs 
unexpectedly  in  our  consciousness. 

For  example,  I  suggest  to  a  man  that  his  forehead  itches.  As 
soon  as  he  feels  it  he  is  surprised,  being  unable  to  understand 
how  my  prophecy  has  been  transformed  into  real  itching.  He 
then  believes  in  my  power  over  his  nervous  system,  i.e.,  that  his 
brain  becomes  more  receptive  to  my  words,  and  offers  less 
resistance  after  having  proved  the  value  of  my  predictions.  It 
matters  httle  whether  these  are  directed  toward  sensations  or 
movements,  or  vaso-motor  actions  causing  blushing  and  blanch- 
ing, or  suppression  or  bringing  on  of  menstruation  (in  the  case 
of  a  woman),  etc.  My  influence  over  him  by  suggestion  will  in- 
crease; i.e.,  his  brain  will  accustom  itself  to  the  suggestions 
which  I  give  it  by  letting  them  dissociate  its  activity.  This  ten- 
dency to  be  influenced  by  suggestion  is  very  contagious  by 
example.  When  A  influences  B  successfully,  and  C,  D,  E,  F 
and  G  are  witnesses  of  the  fact,  they  will  be  much  more  easily 
influenced  by  A  in  the  same  direction;  and  so  on.  This  explains 
suggestion  affecting  the  masses. 


p 


SUGGESTION   IN   SEXUAL  LIFE  283 

It  is  quite  indifferent  whether  the  subjective  sentiment  of 
sleep  occurs  more  or  less  in  the  state  of  hypnosis  or  suggestion. 
This  sentiment  depends  chiefly  on  the  presence  or  absence  of  a 
variable  degree  of  amnesia  (want  of  memory  to  awaken).  But 
amnesia  only  depends  on  the  rupture,  often  fortuitous  and 
unimportant,  of  the  chain  of  remembrances  in  the  series  of 
super-conscious  or  attentional  states  of  cerebral  activity. 

In  somnambuhsts,  who  are  the  most  suggestible  people,  we 
can  produce  or  suppress  amnesia  at  will  by  a  single  word,  and 
make  them  forget  or  remember  what  has  passed.  I  must  dwell 
on  this  point,  because  of  the  current  dogma  which  assumes  an 
essential  difference  between  hypnotism  and  suggestion  in  the 
waking  state.  Such  an  assumption  is  based  on  false  conception 
of  the  psychology  of  suggestion.  The  only  difference  consists 
in  the  suggestion  of  amnesia,  or  the  subjective  sentiment  of 
sleep;  or,  if  one  prefers  it,  the  subjective  remembrance  of  sleep 
opposed  to  the  remembrance  of  having  been  awakened.  But 
these  two  remembrances  may  be  voluntarily  connected  with  the 
same  past  state  of  the  brain. 

By  auto-suggestion  is  meant  the  suggestive  action  of  sponta- 
neous ideas — that  is  to  say,  ideas  which  are  not  suggested  to  the 
subject  by  any  other  person,  but  the  effect  of  which  is  identical 
to  that  of  external  suggestions.  An  idea,  a  sentiment,  domi- 
nates the  mind,  overcomes  all  its  antagonists  and  produces  a 
strong  suggestive  effect  on  the  whole  nervous  system  in  the 
direction  which  it  symbolizes.  The  idea  of  being  unable  to  sleep 
often  produces  insomnia;  the  idea  of  sexual  impotence  may  at 
once  inhibit  erection  and  render  coitus  impossible.  The  idea 
of  yawning  makes  one  yawn;  that  of  coitus  provokes  erections; 
the  idea  of  shame  causes  blushing;  that  of  fear  blanching;  that 
of  pity  weeping. 

But  it  often  happens  unconsciously,  in  yawning  for  example, 
that  one  man  suggests  it  to  another  who  begins  to  yawn;  or  the 
sight  of  certain  objects,  the  hearing  of  certain  sounds,  provokes 
suggestions.  Thus  the  sight  of  an  object  belonging  to  a  cer- 
tain woman  may  cause  an  erection;  the  odor  of  some  article  of 
diet  which  has  caused  indigestion  is  sufficient  to  cause  nausea, 
etc.    We  thus  see  that  there  is  a  series  of  transitions  between 


284  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

external  intentional  suggestion  and  auto-suggestion,  in  the 
form  of  suggestion  of  objects  and  unconscious  or  involuntary 
suggestion  of  persons.  The  conception  of  true  or  intentional 
suggestion  infers  the  determined  will  of  one  man  influencing 
another  by  suggestion;   there  is  no  other  criterion. 

It  is  quite  another  question  whether  the  one  who  suggests 
wishes  to  benefit  his  subject,  or  wishes  on  the  contrary  to  abuse 
him  or  make  him  ridiculous. 

Sympathy.  Love  and  Suggestion. — It  is  of  great  importance 
for  us  to  know  that  sympathy  and  confidence  are  the  funda- 
mental elements  of  success  in  suggestive  action.  Even  when 
deceived  by  the  one  who  hypnotizes  him,  the  subject  may  yield 
to  him  while  he  is  not  aware  of  it.  But  there  is  here  a  point  to 
be  noted.  A  man  may  very  well  see  clearly  with  his  reason  and 
his  logic,  he  may  understand  that  harm  is  done  to  him,  he  may 
even  curse  a  thing  or  a  person  when  he  reflects,  and  in  spite  of 
this  be  instinctively  and  subconsciously  attracted  toward  this 
thing  or  this  person,  like  a  moth  to  a  candle,  when  certain  sen- 
timents of  sympathy  or  attraction  urge  him  to  it.  The  two 
following  examples  will  make  this  more  clear: 

(1).  An  actor  fell  in  love  with  a  hysterical  married  woman. 
This  woman  was  very  polyandrous,  and  deceived  not  only  her 
husband  but  the  actor  and  many  others.  The  actor  tried  with 
all  the  power  of  his  reason  to  be  delivered  from  the  tyrannical 
charm  of  this  siren;  but  the  power  of  attraction  of  the  woman 
was  so  strong  that  he  could  not  succeed  in  resisting  her.  He 
came  to  me  in  despair  and  begged  me  to  rid  him  of  his  passion  by 
hypnotism.  I  realized  the  difficulty  of  the  situation  but  did  my 
best  to  help  him.  Although  aided  by  his  reason,  all  my  sugges- 
tions were  overcome  by  the  violence  of  the  passion  that  his  hys- 
terical seducer  had  inspired  in  him,  and  I  obtained  absolutely  no 
result. 

(2).  A  well-educated,  unmarried  woman  became  so  enamored 
of  a  young  man,  that  she  was  consumed  with  passion,  grew  thin, 
and  lost  her  appetite  and  sleep.  Having  exchanged  ideas  with 
the  young  man  for  some  time,  she  became  convinced  that  their 
two  characters  were  not  suited  to  each  other,  and  that  incom- 
patibility of  temper  and  quarrels  would  necessarily  follow  mar- 
riage.    She  therefore  resisted  with  all  her  power  and  came  to  me 


SUGGESTION  IN  SEXUAL  LIFE  285 

to  be  cured  of  her  passion  by  suggestion.  My  failure  in  the 
preceding  case  increased  my  skepticism,  but  I  did  my  best  to 
succeed;  the  result,  however,  was  no  better  than  with  the  actor 
in  the  preceding  case.  Time  and  separation  alone  gradually 
restored  equilibrium  in  this  lady's  nervous  system. 

These  two  cases  are  very  instructive.  Suggestion  can  only 
successfully  combat  powerful  sentiments  by  arousing  other  sen- 
timents of  sympathy  which  increase  little  by  little  and  finally 
become  substituted  for  the  preceding  ones.  This  brings  us  to 
a  very  difficult  question. 

In  order  to  influence  other  persons  by  suggestion,  it  is  above 
all  things  necessary  to  try  and  associate  the  ideas  which  we  sug- 
gest to  them  with  sentiments  of  sympathy,  so  as  to  arouse  in 
them  the  impression  that  the  object  to  be  attained  is  desirable 
and  agreeable,  or  at  any  rate  that  it  constitutes  a  necessity. 
The  woman  who  surrenders  to  the  mercy  of  her  conqueror  often 
experiences  a  kind  of  pleasure  which  is  associated  with  the 
passiveness  of  her  sexual  sentiments.  It  is  the  same  in  the  male 
masochist. 

The  physician  who  hypnotizes  is  obliged  to  awaken  sentiments 
of  sympathy  in  his  subject  to  combat  with  their  assistance  the 
sentiments  associated  with  the  morbid  state  which  it  is  desired 
to  suppress.  This  is  usually  free  from  danger  when  there  is  no 
natural  sexual  attraction  between  the  hypnotizer  and  the 
hypnotized;  when,  for  example,  a  normal  man  hypnotizes 
another  man,  a  normal  woman  another  woman,  or  an  invert 
another  invert.  Otherwise  there  is  a  risk  of  exciting  sexual 
sympathies  difficult  to  eliminate  afterwards,  when  necessary  pre- 
cautions have  not  been  taken  at  first.  These  attractive  sexual 
sensations  or  sentiments  may  affect  both  the  hypnotizer  and  the 
hypnotized  and  provoke  love  scenes,  which  are  fatal  to  success. 

For  example,  a  hysterical  baroness,  whose  sexual  desire  had  * 
been  excited  by  hypnotism,  fell  in  love  with  a  person  named 
Czinsky,  whose  case  was  studied  and  published  by  Schrenck- 
Notzing.  This  baroness  experienced  a  kind  of  suggested  love 
against  which  her  reason  resisted  to  a  certain  extent,  while  her 
hypnotizer,  himself  amorous,  lost  his  head.  One  might  say  in 
such  a  case  that  suggestion  only  reenforced  the  very  human 


286  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

sentiments  which  occur  in  all  love  stories  of  everyday  life. 
Between  normal  love  and  suggested  love  there  is  such  an  infinite 
number  of  gradations  that  it  is  impossible  to  fix  exactly  the 
limits  which  separate  them. 

A  hypnotizer  may  abuse  his  suggestive  power  to  exploit  the 
love  of  the  hypnotized.  I  have  been  consulted  in  a  case  where 
an  old  woman  had  hypnotized  a  rich  young  man  and  had  so 
powerfully  influenced  him  that  he  abandoned  his  family  and 
married  her.  As  in  the  case  of  Czinsky,  the  abuse  was  obvious. 
The  case  was  even  more  grave,  for  this  old  woman  acted  only 
from  mercenary  motives;  in  fact,  she  procured  young  girls  for 
her  husband,  so  as  not  to  lose  her  suggestive  influence  after 
marriage:  Czinsky,  on  the  contrary,  was  truly  amorous. 

As  a  general  rule  we  may  say  that,  when  amorous  intoxica- 
tion is  the  result  of  intentional  suggestion,  the  subject  obeys  a 
certain  sentiment  of  constraint,  which  he  may  describe  later  on 
when  he  has  succeeded  in  recovering  himself.  He  feels  a  kind 
of  duplication  of  his  personality,  and  perceives  that  the  excita- 
tion of  his  sexual  desire,  as  well  as  his  love,  have  a  somewhat 
forced  nature,  against  which  his  reason  attempts  to  defend  him. 
This  reaction  often  only  appears  afterwards,  when  the  sympa- 
thetic action  of  suggestion  begins  to  fade. 

Here  again  the  gi'adations  are  infinite,  and  no  absolute  rules 
can  be  formulated,  for  if  the  hypnotizer  is  Very  skillful  and  does 
not  let  his  intentions  appear,  the  subjective  sentiment  of  con- 
straint may  be  absolutely  wanting;  i.e.,  never  become  conscious. 
If,  however,  the  hypnotizer  is  clumsy  and  the  subject  a  hysteri- 
cal woman,  love  is  often  transformed  into  hatred  in  the  latter 
soon  afterwards,  as  is  so  often  the  case  in  these  subjects,  and  she 
may  afterwards  be  convinced  by  auto-suggestion  that  she  was 
the  object  of  artificial  constraint  or  even  violence,  and  describe 
imaginary  or  unnatural  events  as  if  they  were  real;  while  she 
was  simply  amorous  after  the  fashion  of  hysterical  subjects. 

It  is  quite  otherwise  \\ith  cases  where  a  hypnotizer  produces 
in  a  hypnotized  woman  a  state  of  deep  somnambulism  and  does 
harm  to  her  without  her  knowledge.  Here  the  victim  is  abso- 
lutely without  will,  and  incapable  of  resisting.  These  last  cases 
are  much  more  easy  to  decide,  especially  from  the  legal  point  of 


I 

P  SUGGESTION  IN  SEXUAL  LIFE  287 

view;  but,  as  far  as  we  are  now  concerned,  the  first  cases  are 
the  most  miportant. 

The  amorous  irradiations  produced  by  the  sexual  appetite 
react  on  the  latter  and  increase  it.  They  awaken  sentiments  of 
reciprocal  sympathy,  from  which  results  a  mutual  attraction 
similar  to  that  of  animals.  Suggestive  action  depends  on  the 
mastery  we  obtain  over  the  associated  constellations  of  sub- 
conscious engrams,  and  we  have  already  become  acquainted 
with  the  phylogenetic  and  actual  relationship  which  exists  be- 
tween sexual  sensations  and  sensations  of  sympathy.  The  sim- 
ple juxtaposition  of  these  facts  clearly  shows  that  powerful 
affinities  exist  between  suggestion  and  love.  I  use  the  word 
"affinity"  advisedly,  for  we  must  not  go  further  and  regard  the 
two  things  as  identical.  Fortunately,  the  majority  of  curable 
patients  may  be  cured  by  the  prudent  awakening  of  a  sfight 
degree  of  sympathy,  and  by  the  common  efforts  made  by  the 
hypnotizer  and  the  hypnotized  to  subdue  the  morbid  symptoms, 
without  anything  but  a  certain  sentiment  of  reciprocal  friend- 
ship resulting.  On  the  other  hand  two  human  beings  may  be 
united  by  sexual  love,  without  either  being  able  to  hypnotize 
the  other.  This  is  especially  the  case  when,  for  example,  two 
conjoints  have  known  each  other  for  many  years,  or  when  two 
persons  of  higher  intelligence,  who  are  not  too  dependent  on 
their  sexual  intercourse,  meet  each  other. 

I  am  obliged  to  dwell  on  these  facts,  so  that  my  ideas  may  not 
be  falsely  interpreted,  by  premature  generalization.  On  the 
other  hand,  when  a  strongly  associated  brain  suggests  to  a  weak 
brain  of  the  opposite  sex  sentiments  of  sympathy  and  makes  use 
of  them  to  arouse  the  sexual  appetite,  it  may  produce  a  suggested 
love  which  closely  resembles  natural  amorous  intoxication.  If 
the  discovery  of  an  imposture  or  abuse  of  power  on  the  part  of 
the  hypnotizer  weakens  or  destroys  the  effect  of  suggestion,  the 
hjrpnotized  subject  recovers  herself.  Despite  and  repentance 
may  then  transform  her  love  into  hatred. 

In  other  cases  there  is  a  struggle  between  sexual  desire  and 
the  disillusion  of  a  deceived  love,  which  often  serves  as  the  tragic 
motive  in  romance  and  the  drama.  The  following  is  a  typical 
case  of  suggested  love  without  formal  hypnotic  proceedings: 


288  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION  I 

An  old  roue  aged  sixty,  married  and  the  father  of  a  family,  | 
persecuted  a  very  suggestible  young  girl  with  his  atten-  ! 
tions,  and  systematically  seduced  her  by  means  of  erotic  read- 
ings. He  produced  such  an  impression  on  this  young  girl  that 
she  became  hypnotized  and  fell  in  love  with  the  old  roue 
She  lost  all  conscience,  became  deceitful  and  untruthful  by 
suggestion,  and  compromised  herself  and  her  family.  Her 
seducer  was  poor,  so  that  it  was  not  his  fortune  that  attracted 
her.  She  knew  very  well  that  this  union  could  lead  to  nothing, 
but  could  not  resist,  and  eloped  with  him.  Later  on  she  came 
to  her  senses  and  left  him. 

According  to  an  old  proverb,  young  girls  laugh  at  old  men  and 
only  marry  them  reluctantly  or  for  their  money;  but  in  reality 
this  is  by  no  means  always  true. 

Amorous  Intoxication. — Let  us  now  compare  these  phenomena 
with  those  of  ordinary  life  called  amorous  intoxication.  The 
affinities  are  at  once  apparent.  A  man  and  a  woman  meet  and 
take  a  fancy  for  each  other.  The  reciprocal  action  of  looks, 
speech  and  touch,  in  fact  all  the  apparatus  of  the  senses  and 
the  mind,  awakens  in  both  of  them  sentiments  of  sympathy  and 
sexual  desire  which  mutually  strengthens  each  other.  Sexual 
desire  invests  eveiy  action  and  appearance  of  the  loved  object 
with  an  ever-increasing  halo  of  charm  and  splendor,  and  this 
halo  of  sexual  origin  increases  in  its  turn  the  sentiments  of  sym- 
pathy; and  the  sentiments  of  sympathy  increase  the  sexual 
desire.  In  this  w^ay  mutual  suggestions  grow  like  a  snowball, 
and  rapidly  attain  the  culminating  point  of  amorous  intoxica- 
tion, or  what  is  called  being  madly  in  love.  I 

All  this  depends  only  on  reciprocal  illusion.  The  more 
violent  and  foolish  the  amorous  intoxication,  without  prepara- 
tion or  reflexion,  and  the  less  the  individuals  know  each 
other,  the  more  rapidly  these  illusions  collapse,  like  a  castle 
of  cards,  as  soon  as  some  douche  of  cold  w^ater  sobers  the  two 
lovers.  Thus  indifference,  disgust,  and  even  hatred,  follow 
"love." 

The  suggestive  element  in  love  is  here  apparent.  Just  as  a 
hypnotized  person  will  eagerly  swallow  a  raw  potato  which  he 
takes  for  an  orange;   so  mil  a  person  madly  in  love  regard  an 


SUGGESTION  IN   SEXUAL  LIFE  289 

Ugly  or  wicked  girl  as  a  goddess,  or  an  amorous  girl  find  her 
ideal  of  chivalry  and  manliness  in  an  egoistic  Don  Juan. 

The  affinity  is  still  more  evident  when  the  amorous  intoxica- 
tion is  only  on  one  side,  while  the  other  plays  the  part  of  seducer. 
When  motives  of  pecuniary  interest  are  not  the  only  cause  of 
seduction,  and  even  often  when  they  are,  the  seducer  generally 
brings  into  play  his  sexual  appetite,  but  only  as  a  collaborator 
in  his  work  of  seduction  without  allowing  himself  to  be  domi- 
nated by  it.  In  this  case  one  is  the  seducer  and  the  other  the 
seduced.  The  seducer  plays  the  part  of  the  hypnotizer  who 
suggests,  while  the  seduced  plays  the  part  of  the  hjrpnotized, 
unless  the  seduction  is  due  to  fear,  weakness  of  mind  or  good 
nature.  The  seducer  is  no  doubt  more  or  less  under  erotic  in- 
fluence, but  never  completely.  The  seduced,  on  the  contrary, 
falls  completely  under  the  power  of  the  seducer.  The  thoughts, 
sentiments  and  will  are  all  directed  by  the  impulses  of  the 
seducer.  The  latter  acquires  his  ascendancy  by  means  of  a 
kind  of  suggestive  power,  often  assisted  by  the  sexual  appetite. 

In  many  cases  the  seduced  gives  way  by  pure  suggestion  of 
love  without  sexual  desire.  These  are  precisely  the  cases  that 
the  law  does  not  foresee,  and  jurists  cannot  usually  understand. 
In  ordinary  life,  the  man  most  often  plays  the  part  of  seducer 
or  hypnotizer;  but  this  is  not  always  the  case.  Antony,  who 
threw  himself  at  the  feet  of  Cleopatra  and  obeyed  her  least 
gesture,  was  evidently  hypnotized.  Antonys  are  not  rare  even 
at  the  present  day;  but  they  do  not  constitute  the  rule,  nor  the 
normal  state. 

As  we  have  just  described  it,  suggestion  plays  a  great  role  in 
love,  and  explains  to  a  great  extent  the  phenomena  of  illusion 
produced  by  amorous  intoxication.  In  spite  of  the  act  which 
deifies  it  and  the  ecstatic  happiness  that  accompanies  it,  we 
must  admit  that  amorous  intoxication,  with  its  illusory  sugges- 
tions uncontrolled  by  reason,  brings  more  poison  than  true  hap- 
piness into  human  hfe.  I  will  attempt  to  explain  the  matter 
more  clearly.  When  two  human  beings  with  loyal  instincts 
have  learned  to  know  each  other  sufficiently,  honestly  avo\nng 
their  reciprocal  feelings  and  their  past  life,  at  the  same  time 
subduing  their  sensual  appetites  and  judging  the  latter  with 


290  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

calmness,  so  as  to  be  convinced  that  they  may  reasonably  hope 
to  form  a  dm'able  and  happy  union,  then  only  may  they  abandon 
themselves  to  amorous  intoxication,  but  not  before.  The  fact 
that  the  latter  makes  each  lover  appear  to  the  other  in  the  most 
ideal  light  only  serves  to  strengthen  the  feelings  of  sympathy 
and  make  them  last  for  life. 

On  the  other  hand,  two  egoists  calculating  coldly,  even  if 
they  have  strong  sexual  appetites  and  trouble  themselves  very 
little  with  reflections  on  their  intellect,  may  contract  a  compara- 
tively happy  marriage,  based  simply  on  reciprocal  convenience 
and  interest;  a  marriage  in  which  amorous  injtoxication  only 
plays  a  very  small  part,  or  none  at  all. 

The  latter  case  is  of  great  frequency.  The  novel  which  de- 
lights in  the  description  of  admirable  or  ignoble  sentiments,  and 
which  shows  a  special  preference  for  bizarre  and  sensational 
situations,  often  of  a  pathological  nature,  makes  us  forget  that 
the  majority  of  mediocre  and  normal  men  are  little  susceptible 
to  the  suggestions  of  amorous  intoxication,  and  that  they  give 
vent  to  their  sexual  desires  in  a  more  or  less  reflective  and  cal- 
culating frame  of  mind,  like  a  gourmand.  This  is  not  poetical, 
I  admit,  but  it  is  much  more  human.  Many  women  also  become 
gourmands  in  sexual  matters. 

In  all  this  sexual  commerce  there  are  only  vestiges  or  carica- 
tures of  the  poetry  of  amorous  intoxication.  It  is  no  longer 
a  question  of  deep  love,  but  of  essentially  commonplace  sexual 
enjoyment,  wisely  and  prudently  adapted  to  other  objects  of  con- 
cupiscence, such  as  money,  social  position,  titles,  business,  etc. 

If  the  poets  and  the  preachers  of  morality  apostrophize  me 
with  indignation  saying  that  this  is  the  prostitution  of  love,  I 
shall  be  obliged  to  protest.  So  long  as  sexual  enjoyment  is 
not  bought,  there  is  no  prostitution.  Man  has  as  much  right  to 
a  certain  agreeable  satisfaction  of  his  sexual  appetite,  even  with- 
out exalted  sentiments,  as  he  has  to  satisfy  his  hunger  and  thirst, 
as  long  as  he  does  no  harm  to  anyone.  But,  I  repeat,  this  ques- 
tion has  nothing  to  do  with  amorous  intoxication.  The  latter 
is  a  powerful  shock  to  the  whole  mind,  to  the  principal  spheres 
of  cerebral  activity,  by  a  suggestive  effect,  usually  with  the  aid 
of  the  sexual  appetite,  but  sometimes  without  it. 


SUGGESTION  IN  SEXUAL   LIFE  291 

Amorous  intoxication  naturally  differs  in  quality  and  in 
intensity  in  different  individuals.  In  a  person  with  ideal  tend- 
encies it  may  awaken  the  finest  harmonies  of  the  symphony 
of  human  sentiments,  while  brutal  and  debased  persons  may 
wallow  in  the  mud. 

Suggestion  in  Art.— Suggestion  does  not  act  only  in  the  sexual 
sphere,  but  on  the  whole  mental  life.  In  aesthetics  and  in  art 
it  has  an  immense  and  irresistible  influence,  which  gives  rise  to 
all  the  capricious  exaltations  of  fashion.  The  average  artist  is 
more  or  less  the  slave  of  the  aesthetic  suggestions  which  are  in 
fashion,  but  the  average  members  of  the  public  are  absolutely 
dominated  by  them.  Originating  in  a  correct  idea  of  certain 
effects  of  light,  the  most  absurd  exaggerations  may  become 
accepted  as  beautiful  and  natural  by  an  imitative  public  devoid 
of  personal  judgment,  by  the  aid  of  suggestion.  These  deplor- 
able effects  of  suggestion  may  last  a  long  time  till  their  nullity 
or  their  absurdity  causes  them  gradually  to  disappear.  But 
they  are  usually  replaced  by  other  ^-bsurdities. 

Suggestive  Action  in  Sexual  Anomalies. — In  very  suggestible 
persons  the  sexual  appetite  may  be  easily  led  astray  by  sensory 
impressions  created  by  perverse  images.  In  this  way  the  erotic 
imagination  of  a  very  suggestible  boy,  excited  indirectly  by 
another  boy,  may  even  make  the  latter  the  object  of  his  sexual 
desire.  This  is  how  homosexual  inclinations  may  be  formed  by 
suggestion  and  maintained  by  mutual  masturbation,  pederasty, 
etc.  The  duration  of  a  perversion  of  this  kind  often  depends  on 
the  power  of  the  erotic  image  which  suggested  sexual  desire. 
This  is  also  the  case  with  onanism,  sodomy,  etc.;  and  in  the 
inverse  direction  with  impotence. 

These  facts  explain  at  the  same  time  why  and  how  suggestion 
may  cure  or  ameliorate  the  anomalies  of  sexual  life.  Just  as 
suggestion  may  excite  or  pervert  the  sexual  appetite,  so  may 
it  calm  it  and  put  it  in  the  right  direction,  unless  there  is  a 
deeply  rooted  hereditary  perversion.  We  can  nearly  always 
considerably  attenuate  too-frequent  emissions,  masturbation 
and  perversions  by  suggestion,  and  often  entirely  cure  their 
acquired  forms. 

I   must   here  point   out   that  when  we  have  succeeded  in 


292  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

removing  by  suggestion  a  perversion  based  in  whole  or  in  part 
on  organic  or  hereditary  causes,  this  result  is  always  more  or 
less  precarious,  and  does  not  give  the  physician  the  right  to  give 
his  sanction  to  marriage.  The  following  case  shows  us  what 
prudence  on  the  part  of  the  hypnotizer  can  do  with  patients 
of  this  kind: 

/^ K  young  girl,  of  good  education,  was  troubled  with  intense 
sexual  desire.  She  was  incapable  of  resisting  masturbation  and 
dreamed  at  night  that  men  and  animals  were  in  contact  with  her 
vulva.  These  dreams  caused  intense  excitement  and  were  ac- 
companied by  orgasms.  The  treatment  of  a  patient  of  this  kind 
by  suggestion  was  no  easy  matter.  However,  with  the  aid  of  a 
local  sedative,  the  action  of  which  it  is  needless  to  say  was  purely 
suggestive  and  was  combined  with  appropriate  verbal  sugges- 
tions, I  succeeded  not  only  in  suppressing  the  onanism,  but  also 
in  almost  completely  curing  the  nervous  exhaustion  of  this  young 
girl,  so  that  she  was  afterwards  able  to  resume  work. 

I  may  add  that  the  patient  was  hypnotized  in  the  presence  of 
others,  which  can  always  be  done  in  such  cases  with  a  little  tact. 
This  is  a  rule  from  which  the  physician  should  never  depart. 

I  cannot  enter  into  more  details  on  this  subject,  but  what  I 
have  said  will  suffice  to  draw  the  attention  of  my  readers  to  the 
action  of  suggestion  in  the  sexual  appetite  and  in  love. 


I 


CHAPTER   X 

THE    SEXUAL    QUESTION   IN    RELATION  TO  MONEY   AND    PROPERTY 
PROSTITUTION,  PROXENETISM  AND  VENAL  CONCUBINAGE 

GENERAL   REMARKS 

In  Chapter  VI  we  have  studied  the  historical  development  of 
human  marriage  as  a  continuation  of  the  phylogeny  of  our 
species,  and  we  have  shown  that  marriage  by  purchase  and 
different  forms  of  polygamy  constitute  a  kind  of  intermediate 
stage  and  at  the  same  time  an  aberration  of  civilization,  which 
has  resulted  from  the  association  of  men,  combined  with  the 
birth  of  individual  property. 

When  we  consider  a  being  of  high  mentality  and  deeply  rooted 
individualism  such  as  man,  in  whom  the  instinct  of  love  and 
family  are  so  strong,  led  by  the  inevitable  force  of  circumstances 
to  live  in  the  society  of  his  fellows,  we  can  easily  understand  that 
certain  individuals  of  a  higher  mentality  than  the  others  will 
endeavor  to  dominate  the  weaker  and  less  inteUigent,  and 
exploit  them  for  their  own  profit  and  that  of  theu"  family. 

Analogous  tendencies  are  seen  in  certain  animals.  Among 
the  bees  the  old  workers  appropriate  the  produce  of  the  work 
of  others.  Certain  ants  practice  a  form  of  slavery,  based,  it  is 
true  on  instinct,  in  stealing  the  pupae  of  weaker  species  which, 
after  hatching,  become  the  servants  of  the  idle  robbers. 

In  incomplete  animal  societies,  such  as  those  of  the  ruminants, 
certain  monkeys,  etc.,  the  old  males,  sometimes  also  the  more 
courageous  females  (cows,  for  example)  direct  the  herd  and 
become  recognized  as  chiefs  by  the  others.  But  in  these  cases 
the  personal  property  of  objects  or  even  living  beings  takes  no 
part,  because  the  animals  have  not  yet  learned  its  value. 

Other  animals  living  isolated  show  the  first  tendencies  toward 
personal  property ;  for  example,  the  nest  where  they  hoard  their 
provisions,  while  others,  such  as  the  ants,  bees,  wasps,  etc.,  have 

293 


294    \  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

the""  sentiment  of  collective  property  well  developed.  For 
instance,  a  swarm  of  ants  regards  plants  with  grubs  as  its 
property,  and  defends  them  in  consequence. 
X  As  soon  as  he  has  attained  a  primitive  degree  of  culture,  man 
'  comprehends  that  the  possession,  not  only  of  land  and  the  pro- 
duce of  work,  but  also  the  persons  of  other  men,  may  profit  him; 
and  this  leads  to  slavery.  The  male  being  the  stronger  soon 
combines  the  satisfaction  of  his  sexual  appetite  with  the  ad- 
vantage of  property,  by  placing  the  woman  more  and  more  under 
his  dependence  and  exploiting  her.  In  this  way  woman  becomes 
an  object  for  sale  and  exchange,  which  will  procure  the  pur- 
chaser, besides  satisfaction  for  his  sexual  appetite,  a  docile  slave 
and  worker  and  a  procreator  of  children,  a  source  of  other 
workers. 

This  motive,  so  clearly  revealed  by  ethnography  and  history, 
sufficiently  explains  the  ignoble  traffic  that  man  has  made  of 
love,  or  rather  of  sexual  appetite.  We  have  seen  in  Chapter 
VI  the  profit  made  by  polygamous  barbarians  by  the  possession 
of  many  wives  and  children,  which  led  more  and  more  to  the 
buying  and  selhng  of  the  latter.  These  customs  are  instinctively 
related  to  the  traffic  of  slaves.  Our  modern  civilization  has 
happily  abolished  these  taints,  but  money  still  influences  our 
sfexual  life  by  measures  which  are  hardly  any  better.  The  com- 
/plication  and  refinement  of  civilized  life  have  made  women  and 
'/  children  objects  of  luxury,  and  not  a  source  of  wealth  as  in 
/  former  times.  This  is  due  to  two  causes.  On  the  one  hand,  a 
wider  and  more  humane  conception  of  the  social  position  of 
women  and  children  has  extended  their  rights.  Man  cannot 
now  exploit  them  to  the  same  extent  as  in  the  time  of  patriarch- 
ism,  while  the  father  of  the  family  has,  on  the  contrary,  the  duty 
of  maintaining  his  wife  and  family,  and  of  giving  the  latter  a 
proper  education.  Among  the  poor,  the  exploitation  of  the 
wife  and  children  still  exists;  but  in  the  case  of  the  rich  and 
cultured  the  inverse  phenomenon  is  produced.  With  the  inten- 
tion of  making  his  family  happy  and  distinguished,  the  father 
brings  it  up  in  luxury  and  idleness,  and  this  produces  a  very 
harmful  result.  The  increasing  refinement  of  modern  life  and 
its  pleasures  leads  to  effeminacy.    It  bears  upon  the  whole  of 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      295 

society  and  degenerates  into  an  artificial  desire  for  brilliancy 
and  show,  which  makes  it  increasingly  difficult  to  obtain  a 
simple  and  sober  education  for  the  family.  Men  and  women, 
especially  the  latter,  do  their  best  to  ecHpse  each  other  in  their 
table,  their  toilet,  the  comfort  and  luxury  of  their  apartments, 
their  pleasures  and  distractions,  their  banquets  and  fetes.  An 
enormous  mass  of  the  produce  of  human  labor  is  thus  dissipated 
in  futihties,  for  the  benefit  of  unbridled  frivolity  and  luxury. 
It  is  owing  to  this  that  a  civilization  which,  thanks  to  science 
and  progress,  far  surpasses  all  those  which  have  preceded  it  in 
the  richness  of  its  means  of  production  for  the  wants  of  humanity, 
not  only  shows  more  and  more  rich  with  superfluous  wealth, 
but  also  more  and  more  poor  who  vegetate  from  the  want  of  it. 

What  is  still  more  grave  is  that,  for  reasons  of  economy,  the 
intelligent,  educated  and  cultured  marry  less  often  and  pro- 
create fewer  children.  Again,  our  descendants  degenerate  more 
and  more,  owing  to  the  consumption  of  alcohol  or  other  nar- 
cotics, and  the  unhealthy  life  they  lead.  This  degeneration  is 
dissimulated  by  their  well-nourished  appearance,  but  is  revealed 
in  their  increasing  neuropathic  tendency.  They  become  accus- 
tomed to  a  number  of  artificial  wants,  which  make  them  in- 
creasingly difficult  to  satisfy.  This  results  in  their  exacting  ' 
from  society  much  more  than  they  give  to  it  by  their  work; 
whereas  each  ought  to  give  to  society  more  than  he  receives  \ 
from  it.  As  evil  omens,  I  must  mention  the  idletiess  of  many 
women  with  regard  to  household  and  manual  work.  What  are 
the  effects  of  this  state  of  things  on  the  sexual  life  of  modern 
society?    They  are  of  three  kinds: 

(1)  Marriage  for  moneij;  (2)  prostitution,  exploited  by  proxenet- 
ism,  and  between  the  two   (3)  venal  concubinage. 

MARRIAGE  FOR  MONEY  , 

Marriage  for  money  is  the  modern  form  or  derivative  of  mar- 
riage by  purchase.  Formerly  one  bought  a  wife  and  sold  a 
daughter;  to-day  one  is  sold  to  a  wife  and  buys  a  son-in-law. 
The  improvement  consists  in  the  fact  that  the  buyer  and  the 
bought  are  no  longer  in  the  positions  of  proprietor  and  object 
possessed,  respectively.     Nevertheless,  marriage  at  the  present 


296  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

day  gives  rise  to  much  traffic,  speculation  and  exploitation  of  an 
evil  nature. 

These  things  are  so  well  known  that  I  need  not  dwell  upon 
them.  In  place  of  love,  force  of  character,  capacity,  harmony 
of  sentiments,  intellectual  and  bodily  health,  money  is  the  alpha 
et  omega  of  marriage.  Money  dazzles  most  men  so  that  they 
are  blind  to  everything  else.  They  no  longer  understand  that 
the  health  and  the  physical  and  moral  worth  of  a  woman  con- 
stitute a  capital  which  is  far  preferable  to  all  the  title-deeds 
deposited  in  the  coffers  of  the  future  father-in-law,  which  are 
rapidly  squandered  by  children  tainted  with  bad  physical  or 
mental  heredity.  In  this  way  ignorance  of  the  laws  of  heredity 
and  the  rapacity  of  pecuniary  interests  perpetually  tend  toward 
the  antisocial  procreation  of  a  degenerate  posterity. 

Inversely,  a  number  of  capable  and  healthy  men  and  women 
remain  celibate  and  sterile  for  want  of  money.  Capital  ex- 
ploits them  as  workers  and  prevents  them  from  reproducing 
their  race;  or  else  their  own  foresight  induces  them  to  avoid 
procreation. 

A  characteristic  sign  is  observed  in  military  circles,  especially 
in  the  German  army  where  officers  who  are  not  well-to-do  are 
forbidden  to  marry  a  woman  unless  she  has  a  certain  income. 
The  officer  must  bring  up  his  family  in  accordance  with  his  posi- 
tion. This  system,  which  it  is  sought  to  justify  by  all  kinds  of 
reasons,  shows  how  the  worship  of  the  golden  calf  and  class 
prejudices  may  degenerate  our  manners  and  customs.  Without 
fortune  one  cannot  serve  the  country  as  an  officer,  or  marry, 
except  by  selling  oneself  to  a  rich  woman.  In  other  terms,  an 
officer  cannot  marry  according  to  his  own  inclination  unless  he 
possesses  a  certain  fortune.  No  doubt  there  are  officers  who 
marry  for  love;  nevertheless,  they  are  not  only  obliged  to  have 
a  certain  fortune,  but  the  woman  they  marry  must  have  a  cer- 
tain social  position  and  have  been  well  educated.  The  wife  of 
an  officer  has  to  take  part  in  balls  and  official  gatherings.  She 
is  forbidden  to  carry  on  openly  any  business,  and  her  parents 
must  not  even  be  shopkeepers!  In  a  German  town,  one  of  my 
relatives  heard  a  rich  mother  say  to  her  daughter,  who  could 
not  make  up  her  mind  to  marry  a  gentleman  who  proposed  to 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO   PROPERTY  297 

her:  ''If  you  do  not  want  him,  let  him  go;  we  do  not  wish  to 
persuade  you.  We  have  plenty  of  money,  and  if  you  want  to 
marry  later  on  we  can  easily  buy  you  an  officer!" 

In  the  tyi'anny  of  class  marriages,  it  is  money  which  almost 
always  decides  the  question.  Formerly  birth  and  nobility  were 
everything,  and  it  was  these  which  brought  power  and  fortune; 
nowadays  money  has  replaced  them,  and  has  monopolized 
universal  power.  If  an  energetic  and  intelligent  man  revolts, 
by  returning  to  modest  and  primitive  customs,  if  he  dresses 
simply,  performs  manual  labor,  takes  his  meals  at  the  same 
table  as  his  servants,  etc.,  he  is  despised  and  is  not  received  into 
what  is  called  good  society. 

It  is  only  up  to  a  certain  point,  and  with  the  exercise  of  great 
prudence,  that  any  attempt  can  be  made  to  react  against  the 
whirlwind  of  our  unbridled  luxury,  and  it  is  in  marriage  that 
this  becomes  most  delicate  and  most  difficult.  A  well-brought- 
up  and  well-educated  man  with  no  money,  who  wishes  to  marry 
while  he  is  a  student,  so  as  to  avoid  prostitution  or  other  evils; 
who  is  content  to  live  in  humble  quarters  with  his  wife,  each 
doing  their  own  work,  will  have  great  difficulty  in  finding  a  well- 
nurtured  girl  to  consent  to  such  an  arrangement.  Everything 
has  to  be  regulated  according  to  the  fashion,  customs  and  preju- 
dices of  the  class  in  which  he  lives,  and  this  usually  renders  mar- 
riage impossible,  as  long  as  he  has  not  what  is  called  a  position. 
But  no  one  wiU  blame  the  same  student  for  living  in  concubinage 
with  a  grisette.  Why  cannot  the  same  means  of  existence  which 
allow  concubinage  suffice  for  marriage?  With  this  question  I 
only  touch  on  a  problem  to  which  we  shall  return,  at  the  same 
time  pointing  out  the  canker  which  corrupts  our  modern 
sexual  hfe. 

By  marriage  for  money  we  understand  marriage  which  is 
based  on  interest  and  not  on  love.  It  is  not  always  a  question 
of  money ;  for  position,  name,  titles  and  convenience  often  com- 
pHcate  the  question.  Sometimes  a  ruined  aristocrat  marries  a 
rich  tradesman's  daughter,  in  order  to  repair  his  fortune,  while 
the  vanity  of  his  fiancee  makes  a  title  a  desirable  acquisition. 
Sometimes  a  coquette,  by  clever  flirtation,  will  simulate  a  love 
which  she  does  not  feel,  to  catch  a  rich  man  in  her  net.     But 


298  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

more  commonly  there  is  calculation  on  both  sides  and  both  are 
duped. 

Marriage  for  money  is  not  confined  to  the  rich  but  also  occurs 
among  peasants  and  working  people.  Everywhere  it  constitutes 
one  of  the  principal  corrupting  elements  of  sexual  intercourse 
and  procreation.  Hard-working  servants  who  have  succeeded 
in  saving  a  few  hundred  dollars  are  often  married  for  the  sake 
of  this  small  sum,  and  then  abandoned  as  soon  as  the  husband 
has  squandered  it.  I  do  not  pretend  that  a  marriage  for  money 
can  never  be  happy;  it  may  happen  that  the  contract  is  an  hon- 
est one  and  that  love  follows  it  more  or  less  haltingly,  especially 
when  the  calculators  have  taken  into  account  character  and 
health,  etc.,  as  well  as  money. 

There  is  no  need  for  me  to  continue  this  theme  any  further, 
and  I  shall  conclude  by  stating  that  this  system  opens  the  door 
to  hypocrisy,  deceit  and  abuse  of  all  kinds.  It  is  not  without 
reason  that  marriage  for  money  has  been  branded  with  the  name 
of  fashionable  prostitution. 

PROSTITUTION   AND    PROXENETISM 

Prostitution  is  a  very  ancient  institution  and  a  sign  of  degen- 
eration which  is  found  more  or  less  among  all  nations.  When 
woman  is  an  article  for  sale  it  is  not  surprising  that  those  whose 
moral  worth  is  weak  take  the  traffic  into  their  own  hands  when 
they  can,  and  sell  themselves  to  men  to  satisfy  their  sexual  appe- 
tites, instead  of  allowing  themselves  to  be  passively  exploited  as 
articles  of  commerce.  Man  being  the  stronger  finds  it  advan- 
tageous in  the  lower  and  barbarous  states  of  civilization  to 
monopolize  this  traffic  for  his  own  profit,  and  deliver  the  women 
under  his  domination  to  prostitution.  We  have  seen  that 
fathers  give  then'  daughters,  and  husbands  their  wives  to  pros- 
titution. 

For  the  same  reason,  the  woman  who  prostitutes  herself  in 
our  modern  civilization,  always  runs  the  risk  of  being  abused 
without  payment;  which  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  considering 
the  doubtful  quality  of  the  usual  clients  of  the  prostitute.  It  is 
therefore  natural  that  she  should  seek  for  a  means  of  protection. 
She  thus  takes  a  male  protector,  or  ''bully,"  whom  she  pays; 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      299 

or  else  she  joins  the  service  of  those  who  make  a  business  of 
prostitution — or  proxenetism.  Proxenetism  and  protectors  are 
thus  the  parasites  of  prostitution. 

Prostitution  flourished  amongst  the  ancients  and  also  in  the 
Middle  Ages,  especially  after  the  Crusades  (Chapter  VI).  I  do 
not  propose  to  write  the  history  of  prostitution;  it  is  sufficient 
to  be  acquainted  with  that  of  the  present  day.  I  may,  how- 
ever, remark  that  among  a  number  of  primitive  races,  and  in 
young  and  progressive  nations,  whose  sexual  life  is  still  com- 
paratively pure,  prostitution  is  only  feebly  developed.  It  is 
especially  to  Napoleon  I  that  we  owe  the  present  form  of  regu- 
lation and  organization  of  prostitutes.  Like  all  his  legislation 
on  marriage  and  sexual  intercourse,  this  regulation  is  the  living 
expression  of  his  sentiments  toward  woman;  oppression  of  the 
female  sex,  contempt  of  its  rights,  and  degradation  of  its  indi- 
viduals to  the  state  of  articles  of  pleasure  for  men,  and  machines 
for  reproduction. 

Organization  and  Regulation  of  Prostitution. — We  have  just 
seen  the  social  conditions  under  which  prostitution  becomes 
quite  naturally  organized,  with  its  protectors  and  its  proxenet- 
ism. There  is  another  factor  to  be  added— that  of  venereal 
disease.  The  infectious  germs  of  syphilis  and  gonorrhea  are 
usually  met  with  in  the  genital  organs  of  man  and  woman;  so 
that  every  coitus  between  a  healthy  and  an  infected  individual 
may  infect  the  former.  Hence  the  danger  of  the  spread  of 
infection  increases  with  the  number  of  mutations  in  sexual 
intercourse.  If  a  woman  offers  herself  systematically  to  all  the 
men  who  wish  for  her,  the  probability  that  she  will  be  infected 
by  one  of  them  increases  in  proportion  to  the  number  of  chents. 

In  the  second  place,  as  soon  as  she  is  infected,  the  danger  is 
increased  by  the  number  of  men  who  have  connection  with  her, 
for  she  will  probably  infect  a  large  proportion  of  them. 

While  paying  much  attention  to  venereal  diseases  and  their 
consequences,  medicine  has  shown  itself  inconceivably  blind  in 
not  comprehending  the  bearing  of  this  elementary  arithmetic. 
We  must  take  into  account  the  fact  that  the  complete  cure  of 
syphilis  is  very  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  prove;  that  this 
disease  is  extremely  infectious,  at  least  during  the  first  two 


300  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

years  of  its  course;  and  that  it  extends  to  the  blood  and  the 
whole  organism,  so  that  it  may  be  communicated,  not  only  by 
large  visible  sores,  but  by  small  excoriations  hidden  in  the 
mucous  membrane  of  the  vagina  or  the  mouth,  etc. 

We  must  also  remember  that  gonorrhea  is  less  painful  in 
woman  than  in  man,  and  that,  even  in  the  latter,  it  ceases  to  be 
painful  when  it  becomes  chronic.  We  may  add  that  the  mi- 
crobes (the  gonococci)  are  very  difficult  to  reach  in  all  the  re- 
cesses of  the  mucous  membrane  of  the  sexual  organs  in  which 
they  are  hidden,  and  that  in  women  they  penetrate  as  far  as 
the  womb,  when  a  cure  becomes  almost  impossible. 

If  we  consider  that  the  sexual  organs  of  woman  form  deep 
and  hidden  cavities  which  it  is  veiy  difficult  to  examine  thor- 
oughly, in  spite  of  all  the  apparatus  of  modern  surgery,  and  that 
the  mouth  in  prostitutes  is  also  frequently  contaminated  by 
unnatural  manipulations;  lastly,  that  no  part  of  their  body 
is  absolutely  indemnified,  it  is  easy  to  understand  the  great 
danger  of  infection  in  public  prostitution. 

Recognizing  the  danger  of  venereal  disease,  the  regulation  of 
prostitution  was  instituted  by  medical  men  with  the  good  inten- 
tion of  eliminating  or  of  diminishing  its  danger,  since  they 
regarded  its  suppression  as  impossible.  This  system  consists 
in  the  official  supervision  and  inscription  of  every  woman  who 
prostitutes  herself.  She  is  given  an  official  form  which  obliges 
her  to  submit  to  medical  examination  once  a  week  or  once  a 
fortnight,  under  the  penalty  of  being  arrested  and  punished. 

To  facilitate  medical  control,  regulation  generally  endeavors 
to  lodge  prostitutes  in  brothels  or  lupanars,  under  the  direction 
of  a  proxenet.  In  theory,  the  brothel  is  not  exactly  considered 
as  a  State  institution  of  public  health;  the  word  toleration  being 
used  in  this  connection,  signifying  that  it  is  regarded  as  a  tol- 
erated evil.  Nevertheless,  this  distinction  only  rests  on  uncer- 
tain and  subtle  characters.  To  tolerate,  to  license,  to  organize, 
to  recognize  and  favor,  to  protect  and  recommend  are  notions 
which  merge  into  one  another  insensibly.  As  soon  as  the  State 
tolerates  prostitution  and  brothels,  it  is  obliged  to  enter  into 
official  contracts  with  prostitutes  and  proxenetism;  therefore, 
it  recognizes  them.    Moreover,  the  services  which  it  renders 


1 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY     301 

must  be  paid  for.  It  is  therefore  necessary  that  prostitutes 
and  proxenets  should  pay  their  tribute  to  the  State  and  to  the 
doctors:    but  "the  one  who  pays  commands," 

No  doubt  this  proverb  must  not  be  taken  to  the  letter,  never- 
theless the  one  who  pays  always  exerts  a  certain  pressure  on  the 
one  who  receives,  and  for  this  reason  proxenets  and  inscribed 
prostitutes  have  some  idea  that  they  form  part  of  an  official 
institution,  which  raises  their  position  not  only  in  their  own 
eyes  but  in  those  of  the  irreflective  masses.  I  will  cite  two 
examples  which  show  how  effectively  the  public  organization 
of  a  vicious  social  anomaly  confuses  ideas  in  persons  of  limited 
intelligence. 

One  of  my  friends  was  engaged  in  combating  the  official 
regulation  of  prostitution.  A  woman,  who  misunderstood  his 
object,  came  to  him  complaining  bitterly  of  the  loose  life  her 
daughter  was  leading,  and  asked  him  if  he  could  not  help  her 
by  placing  her  in  a  brothel  licensed  by  the  State;  she  would 
then  be  under  the  care  of  a  paternal  government! 

An  old  proxenet  in  Paris  requested  the  authorities  to  transfer 
the  management  of  her  brothel  to  her  daughter,  aged  nineteen. 
Her  house,  she  said,  was  honest  and  managed  in  a  loyal  and 
religious  spirit;  her  daughter  was  capable  and  initiated  into 
the  business  and  would  carry  it  on  in  the  same  irreproachable 
manner  as  hitherto. 

These  two  examples  of  ingenuousness  are  sufficiently  charac- 
teristic of  the  morality  of  the  system.  In  La  Maison  Tellier 
Guy  de  Maupassant  has  depicted  with  his  masterly  pen  the 
psychology  of  the  prostitute,  the  proxenet,  and  their  clients. 

For  reasons  previously  mentioned  no  real  confidence  can  be 
placed  in  periodical  medical  examination  of  prostitutes;  on  the 
contrary  it  gives  the  male  public  a  false  security.  The  object 
of  these  medical  visits  is  to  eliminate  diseased  women  from 
circulation  and  compel  them  to  submit  to  hospital  treatment. 
But  any  one  acquainted  with  the  facts  knows  that  the  treatment 
is  ifiusory.  In  a  short  time  every  woman  in  a  brothel  is  infected, 
with  very  few  exceptions.  But,  on  the  one  hand,  the  proxenets 
and  the  prostitutes  have  every  interest  in  shortening  the  time 
in  hospital;    and,  on  the  other  hand,  the  visiting  doctor,  who 


302  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

often  lives  partly  by  their  fees,  is  obliged  to  treat  them  with 
respect.  [In  Paris,  the  doctors  in  charge  of  the  inspection  of 
prostitutes  are  paid  by  the  State,  and  do  not  depend  on  fees 
from  the  women,]  The  treatment  of  venereal  disease  being  of 
long  duration  and  very  uncertain  in  its  effects,  a  vicious  cncle 
is  formed. 

A  conscientious  Dutch  doctor,  Chanfleury  van  Issjelstein, 
who  attempted  to  eliminate  all  infected  prostitutes  from  the 
brothels,  succeeded  in  almost  emptying  them,  by  subjecting  the 
infected  women  to  prolonged  treatment  in  hospital.  This  led 
to  a  revolt  which  endangered  his  life,  and  he^had  to  abandon 
his  scheme. 

In  ordinary  hospital  practice  only  visible  sores  are  treated, 
and  gonorrheal  discharges  as  long  as  they  are  apparent;  the 
prostitutes  are  then  allowed  to  return  to  their  brothels.  More- 
over, inspection  is  made  too  rapidly;  for,  if  every  woman  was 
examined  carefully  from  head  to  foot  every  week,  neither  the 
brothels,  the  prostitutes  nor  the  doctors  could  exist. 

Certain  persons  have  made  the  proposition,  as  ridiculous  as  it 
is  radical,  of  submitting  every  man  who  visits  a  prostitute  to 
medical  inspection!  This  would  indeed  be  the  only  means  of 
preventing  the  infection  of  prostitutes.  But  I  ask  my  readers 
to  imagine  such  a  measure  put  in  practice.  Is  it  likely  that  the 
habitues  of  brothels,  some  of  whom  visit  prostitutes  nearly  every 
day  or  oftener,  would  make  this  known  to  a  doctor  in  their 
town,  and  submit,  before  each  coitus,  to  a  medical  examination 
which  would  cost  them  more  time  and  money  than  their  pleasure ! 
Can  one  imagine  doctors  examining  whole  queues  of  clients 
waiting  their  turn  in  brothels  when  business  is  brisk! 

Whilst  an  independent  prostitute  still  possesses  some  human 
sentiment  and  a  vestige  of  modesty  which  cause  her  to  choose 
as  far  as  possible  a  limited  number  of  clients,  the  police  certifi- 
cate of  regulation  officially  places  the  woman  who  receives  it  in 
the  class  of  the  pariahs  of  society,  and  this  leads  to  her  losing 
the  little  that  remains  of  her  womanly  nature.  In  brothels,  the 
last  vestige  of  her  human  nature  is  trampled  under  foot. 

Degrees  of  Prostitution.  Protectors. — Several  degrees  can  be 
recognized    in   private   prostitution.     A  variety  of  prostitute 


SEXUAL  QUESTIOISI    IN   RELATION  TO  PROPERTY  303 

rather  less  low  than  others,  looks  for  clients  at  public  balls, 
certain  cafes  and  other  doubtful  localities,  and  hires  herself  to  a 
certain  number  of  temporary  acquaintances.  The  lowest  and 
most  common  form  of  private  prostitution  is  that  of  the  streets. 
Generally  at  night,  but  sometimes  in  the  daytime,  these  pros- 
titutes, dressed  so  as  to  attract  attention,  promenade  in 
certain  well-known  and  frequented  streets,  and  solicit  passers-by. 
This  is  the  common  method  employed  in  nearly  all  towns.  This 
solicitation  is  supervised  by  the  police  in  countries  where  prosti- 
tution is  regulated,  and  is  only  permitted  to  women  who  possess 
their  certificate  of  inscription. 

Here  the  "protector"  (bully)  intervenes,  and  keeps  an  eye 
on  the  clients  at  the  prostitute's  house,  or  sometimes  in  the 
street.  If  they  do  not  pay  up,  or  pay  too  little,  or  if  they  threaten 
or  ill-treat  the  woman,  the  protector  administers  a  drubbing, 
and  sometimes  relieves  them  of  their  purse  or  clothes. 

At  the  same  time  the  protector  spies  on  the  police  for  the 
benefit  of  the  prostitute.  Sometimes  he  assumes  the  position 
of  legitimate  husband,  so  as  to  facilitate  taking  rooms.  A 
"husband"  of  this  kind,  with  a  citizen's  rights,  is  very  useful 
to  foreign  prostitutes,  for  without  him  they  would  risk  expul- 
sion. The  protector  is  generally  a  scamp  of  the  worst  kind, 
an  absolutely  depraved  and  idle  vagabond  who  is  entirely 
maintained  by  his  "wife." 

Some  protectors  shine  by  their  sexual  power,  and  are  at  the 
same  time  the  real  lovers  of  the  prostitutes,  who  keep  them,  and 
are  plundered  by  them.  While  they  submit  to  coitus  with  their 
clients  without  any  pleasure,  and  only  simulate  voluptuous  sen- 
sations, they  abandon  themselves  to  their  protectors  or  lovers 
with  ardor.  It  is  needless  to  add  that  the  protectors  are  often 
criminals,  or  of  the  criminal  type.  Those  who  are  well  ac- 
quainted with  prostitution  declare  that  it  would  be  impossible 
without  the  protector,  who  is  at  the  same  time  the  friend,  pro- 
tector and  exploiter  of  the  prostitute,  while  the  brothel  keeper 
is  only  concerned  with  her  wholesale  systematic  exploitation. 

Brothels  and  Proxenets. — Under  the  pretext  of  avoiding  the 
dangers  of  prostitution  in  the  streets,  brothels  were  organized. 
These  are  generally  managed  by  an  elderly  female  profligate. 


304  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

often  in  partnership  with  a  "husband,"  who  is  only  a  superior 
kind  of  protector.  Officially,  the  prostitutes  are  free  lodgers 
in  the  brothel,  but  in  reality  they  are  often  prisoners  or  slaves. 
They  are  well  fed  and  dressed  in  a  way  to  attract  the  clients  as 
much  as  possible.  Clothes,  food,  etc.,  are  placed  to  their  ac- 
count and  the  crafty  brothel  keeper  generally  manages  to  get 
them  into  debt  so  as  to  always  remain  their  creditor.  In  this 
way  these  miserable  outcasts  of  society,  who  are  generally  inca- 
pable of  claiming  their  legal  rights,  are  more  or  less  reduced  to 
slavery.  Apparently  they  are  free,  but  in  reality  they  can 
hardly  leave  the  house  ^vithout  paying  their,  debts,  and  the 
brothel  keeper  who  wishes  to  keep  them  arranges  so  that  they 
cannot  pay  it. 

It  is  not  always  easy  to  distinguish  between  the  different 
classes  of  prostitutes:  the  prostitute  of  the  brothel,  the  street 
prostitute  under  inscription  or  not,  the  private  prostitute  and 
lorette  or  grisette.  Sometimes  a  woman  may  rise  from  one  class 
to  another;   but  more  often  she  falls  lower  and  lower. 

We  may  mention  here  one  of  the  dangers  of  brothels.  Their 
good  organization,  their  medical  supervision,  etc.,  are  extolled; 
but  the  great  danger  of  the  arithmetical  progression  of  muta- 
tions in  sexual  intercourse  is  ignored.  While  a  private  prosti- 
tute rarely  receives  more  than  one  client  in  an  evening,  and  is 
not  absolutely  obliged  to  receive  more,  every  prostitute  in  a 
brothel  is  forced  to  receive  as  many  as  present  themselves.  A 
girl  may  thus  have  connection  with  men  twenty  or  thirty  times 
in  the  same  night. 

Under  certain  circumstances,  for  instance  at  the  time  of  con- 
scription for  recruits  at  Brussels,  the  brothels  are  besieged  to 
such  a  point  that  one  man  has  hardly  time  to  finish  coitus  before 
another  comes  to  take  his  place.  It  is  obvious  that  such  "file 
firing"  greatly  increases  the  danger  of  venereal  infection,  since  a 
single  infected  person  is  sufficient  to  contaminate  innumerable 
clients  (even  without  the  woman  herself  becoming  infected). 

It  is  often  denied  that  the  brothel  is  a  prison,  yet  this  fact  has 
been  often  demonstrated.  When,  as  in  France,  the  police  can 
arrest  a  prostitute  at  pleasure — often  a  virtuous  young  girl  who 
is  taken  for  such — and  put  her  on  the  inscription  list,  the  thing 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      305 

is  obvious.  I  have  treated  a  girl  who  became  the  mistress  of  a 
police  agent  in  Paris  under  the  thi-eat  of  being  inscribed  as  a 
prostitute. 

Again,  besides  the  debts  we  have  spoken  of,  the  proxenets 
have  many  other  ways  of  keeping  prostitutes  under  their  de- 
pendence. It  is  very  difficult  for  ignorant  girls,  placed  under 
the  ban  of  society,  to  return  to  a  free  and  virtuous  life.  But  if  a 
girl  shows  signs  of  wishing  to  leave  a  brothel,  heroic  measures 
are  adopted,  in  the  form  of  international  exchange.  A  girl  who 
is  unacquainted  with  the  language  of  the  country  is  naturally 
more  incapable  of  gaining  her  freedom  than  one  who  does. 
This  is  one  of  the  reasons  why  the  brothels  of  different  countries 
exchange  their  women. 

This  expedient,  which  also  satisfies  clients  who  desire  a 
change,  leads  to  the  exportation  of  women  from  one  country 
to  another,  under  false  pretenses,  such  as  the  promise  of  lucra- 
tive and  easy  situations.  In  this  way  young  Swiss  girls  are 
exported  to  Hungary,  Hungarians  to  Switzerland,  Germans  to 
France,  French  to  England,  Europeans  to  Buenos- Ayres,  Creoles 
to  Europe,  etc.  For  example,  if  a  young  French  girl  has  been 
exported  to  Budar-Pest  or  Buenos- Ayres,  we  may  be  certain  that 
she  will  lose  all  inclination  to  run  away;  for  what  can  she  do — 
a  stranger  without  a  cent,  with  her  ignorance  and  want  of  char- 
acter, alone  in  the  streets,  when  she  does  not  understand  a  word 
of  the  language? 

White  Slavery. — The  modern  commerce  in  female  slaves  of 
civilized  Europe  destined  for  prostitution  is  closely  connected 
with  the  facts  we  have  just  described.  The  manner  in  which 
brothels  exchange  their  merchandise  only  concerns  one  side  of 
the  question.  The  principal  art  consists  in  obtaining  young 
girls,  of  twelve  to  seventeen  years  of  age,  for  the  brothels.  This 
traffic  is  formally  prohibited  by  most  laws;  but  what  are  laws 
made  for,  if  not  to  be  broken?  There  are  so  many  means  of 
training  children  under  some  pretext  or  other,  before  they  are 
independent  enough  to  escape  this  fife  of  infamy.  There  are  so 
many  depraved  or  hungiy  parents  who  are  ready  to  sell  their 
children  if,  in  hypocritical  but  transparent  language,  a  good 
situation  is  promised  them  with  payment  in  advance. 


306  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

During  a  railway  journey,  I  was  myself  a  -fitness  of  the  man- 
ner in  which  a  young  girl  of  twelve  was  sold  in  this  way  and  sent 
to  Pressburg.  I  was  also  simple  enough  to  try  and  appeal  for 
the  intervention  of  a  consul  and  an  ambassador  to  prevent  the 
perpetration  of  the  crime.  They  only  replied  by  shi'ugging  their 
shoulders.  How  could  I  prove  the  matter  before  a  tribunal? 
The  child  was  accompanied  by  a  woman  who  admitted  to  me 
that  there  could  hardly  be  any  other  question  than  the  sale  of 
the  child  for  prostitution.  She  had  only  been  ordered  to  take 
the  child  to  Vienna,  where  they  would  come  and  take  her. 
This  shows  the  impotence  of  any  person  who  tries  to  prevent 
such  infamies. 

During  the  last  few  years  an  international  organization  has  at 
last  been  formed  to  combat  white  slavery;  but  so  far  it  has  not 
obtained  much  result.  By  the  aid  of  depraved  parents  and  all 
their  criminal  system  of  seduction,  the  proxenets  always  find 
a  way  of  attaining  theu  object.  Moreover,  it  is  difficult  to  see 
how  the  State  can  prevent  proxenetism  from  obtaining  its  mer- 
chandise, so  long  as  it  tolerates  and  licenses  it.  We  must  re- 
member that  very  young  girls,  almost  children,  are  the  most 
easy  to  seduce  and  the  most  sought  after. 

The  Training  of  Prostitutes. — The  most  repugnant  aspect  of 
proxenetism  is  the  seduction  and  systematic  training  of  the  girls. 
The  desire  for  money  and  fine  dresses,  the  promise  of  good  situa- 
tions, and  especially  alcoholic  intoxication,  all  play  their  part 
in  the  diabolical  art  of  proxenetism.  Many  young  girls,  frivo- 
lous and  fond  of  pleasure,  but  not  mshing  to  go  any  further,  are 
easily  seduced  under  the  influence  of  '\\dne.  As  soon  as  some 
protector  has  succeeded  in  seducing  a  girl,  he  trades  on  her 
shame  and  fear  of  discovery,  adding  threats  and  blackmail. 
When  she  has  become  sufficiently  accustomed  to  sexual  inter- 
course, she  is  initiated  into  the  high-school  of  vice,  and  syste- 
matically instructed  in  exciting  the  sexual  appetites  of  men  by 
all  possible  means,  natm-al  or  otherwise.  She  is  first  of  all 
taught  how  to  simulate  the  venereal  orgasm  by  her  movements, 
breathing,  etc.;  to  practice  coi^ms  a&  ore,  etc. ;  to  conform  to  the 
pathological  requirements  of  masochists,  sadists,  etc.,  (Chapter 
VIII).     Girls  who  have  been  seduced  and  abandoned,  and 


SEXUAL  QUESTION   IN   RELATION   TO   PROPERTY  307 

those  who  have  had  illegitimate  children,  are  the  most  suitable 
objects  for  exploitation  by  the  jackals  of  proxenetism.  If  it  is 
objected  that  the  majority  of  prostitutes  have  a  bad  hereditary 
taint,  and  that  their  frivolity  and  idleness  inchne  them  from 
the  first  to  their  trade,  I  reply  that  frivolity  and  love  of  pleasure 
are  not  at  all  the  same  thing  as  the  ignoble  slavery  and  dis- 
gusting life  of  a  prostitute  in  a  brothel. 

The  part  played  by  alcohol  in  prostitution  has  not  been 
estimated  at  its  true  value.  The  coarser  and  more  degraded 
forms  of  prostitution  would  not  be  possible  without  it.  It  is  by 
the  aid  of  alcoholic  orgies  that  most  girls  are  seduced,  and  by 
chronic  drunkenness  that  they  sustain  themselves  in  their 
degradation. 

Localized  Prostitution. — In  certain  towns,  Hamburg  for  in- 
stance, an  attempt  has  been  made  to  establish  an  organization 
intermediate  between  the  brothel  and  private  prostitution,  by 
compelling  all  prostitutes  to  inhabit  certain  special  streets 
which  are  reserved  for  them,  at  the  same  time  being  inscribed 
by  the  police.  The  result  has  been  deplorable,  and  these  streets 
have  become  uninhabitable.  It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that 
the  owners  or  managers  of  these  houses  become  from  this  fact 
more  or  less  analogous  to  proxenets.  Whoever  lets  his  house 
for  such  an  object  must  possess  very  little  sentiment  of 
modesty  and  duty,  for  he  lives  indirectly  on  the  produce  of 
prostitution. 

Clandestine  Brothels. — Besides  the  official  brothels,  of  which 
we  have  spoken,  there  are  a  number  of  secret  organizations  of 
all  kinds,  which  the  State  is  the  less  able  to  prevent  as  it  organ- 
izes and  tolerates  prostitution  and  proxenetism  on  its  own 
account.  A  number  of  taverns  possess  secret  chambers  which 
are  only  small  brothels,  in  which  the  servants  act  at  the  same 
time  as  prostitutes. 

It  is  the  same  with  many  small  shops  (gloves,  perfumes,  etc.), 
whose  innocent  appearance  only  serves  as  a  blind.  A  number 
of  cafes  chmiiants  are  also  connected  with  prostitution  and 
proxenetism.  Certain  tobacco  shops,  etc.,  sell  obscene  objects 
such  as  pornographic  pictures.  All  these  things  act  especially 
on  youth  and  become  disseminated  in  colleges. 


308  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  Number  of  Prostitutes. — The  number  of  prostitutes  has 
been  estimated  at  30,000  in  Berlin,  40,000  in  Paris,  and  60,000 
in  London.  It  can  hardly  be  assumed  that  all  these  women 
have  a  pathological  heredity.  As  soon  as  the  State  recognizes 
the  right  of  existence  of  this  dung-heap,  by  its  toleration  and 
organization,  corruption  hitherto  hidden  and  ashamed  raises 
its  head  and  becomes  more  and  more  bold,  even  dragging  public 
organs  into  its  sink.  It  is  the  public  especially,  but  also  the 
authorities  and  the  doctors  who  become  corrupted  by  contact 
with  official  proxenetism,  which  confuses  the  ideas  of  morality 
in  every  one's  head  (vide  La  Maison  Tellier,  de  Maupassant). 
They  shut  their  eyes  to  the  haunts  of  vice.  The  proxenets  feel 
that  they  are  important  personages,  and  the  more  enterprising 
of  them  very  often  enjoy  secret  favors  and  receive  visits  from 
State  officials,  and  even  married  persons  of  high  position.  It 
is  not  difficult  for  any  one  who  reflects  a  little  to  see  what  this 
state  of  things  leads  to. 

Prostitution  and  the  Police. — The  police  know  very  well  that 
in  certain  brothels  prostitution  is  not  only  associated  with  alco- 
holic excess,  but  that  certain  houses  become  the  haunts  of  crimi- 
nals. They  even  regard  certain  low-class  brothels  and  taverns 
frequented  by  prostitutes  as  very  useful  for  the  discovery  of 
criminals.  Spies  of  all  kinds  are  met  with  in  these  places,  from 
the  secret  agent  who  tracks  a  criminal  and  flirts  at  the  same 
time  with  the  prostitutes,  to  the  counter-spy  employed  by  the 
proxenets  to  watch  the  secret  agent.  It  is  here  that  the  crimi- 
nal world  acquires  its  rakish  manners,  but  its  weakness  for 
women  and  alcohol  cause  it  to  fall  early  into  the  traps  of  the 
secret  police.  It  is  here  also,  as  well  as  in  the  salons  of  high- 
class  proxenetism,  that  we  meet  with  those  indefinable  indi- 
viduals who  are  to-day  secret  agents  of  the  government,  to- 
morrow false  noblemen  or  criminals,  and  the  day  after  prox- 
enets, and  whom  a  former  minister  of  the  German  Empire 
designated  by  the  euphemistic  term  of  "non-gentleman." 

The  Psychology  of  Prostitutes  and  the  Cause  of  Prostitution. — 
The  psychology  of  prostitutes  is  a  difficult  and  complicated 
subject.  According  to  the  point  of  view  of  those  who  judge 
them,  they  are  considered  as  women  of  evil  and  incorrigible 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      309 

instincts,  or  as  the  victims  of  our  bad  social  organiza- 
tions. These  two  assertions  are  by  their  exclusiveness 
equally  false.  Urged  by  Christian  charity,  many  societies  for 
the  improvement  of  moraUty  have  attempted  to  rescue  fallen 
women;  but,  as  might  be  expected,  the  results  have  not  been 
satisfactory.  In  fact,  the  mind  of  woman  is  quite  differently 
dominated  by  sexual  ideas  and  their  irradiations  than  that  of 
man.  It  is  also  less  plastic,  and  becomes  more  easily  the  slave 
of  habit  and  routine.  If,  therefore,  a  woman  has  been  sys- 
tematically trained  in  sexual  aberrations  from  her  youth  up- 
ward, all  her  ideas  are  concentrated  on  debauch  and  sexual 
intercourse,  so  that  it  becomes  impossible  later  on  to  restore 
her  to  a  life  of  serious  social  duty.  Rare  exceptions  con- 
firm this  rule.  Moreover,  sexual  excitation  in  women  awak- 
ens sexual  desire,  which  becomes  exalted  by  repetition  and 
habit. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  necessary  to  recognize  that  girls  who 
are  idle,  of  weak  character,  hysterical,  easily  suggestible,  co- 
quettes or  nymphomaniacs,  are  subjects  specially  disposed  to 
become  seduced.  Lastly,  poverty  is  one  of  the  most  powerful 
auxiliaries  of  prostitution.  I  do  not  wish  to  be  sentimental, 
nor  to  give  too  much  weight  to  the  well-known  statement  that  a 
poor  woman  prostitutes  herself  to  appease  her  children's  hunger, 
or  her  own.  No  doubt  this  happens  among  the  oriental  Jews 
and  among  the  proletariat  of  large  towns,  but  it  is,  on  the 
whole,  exceptional. 

Poverty  acts  indirectly  in  a  much  more  intense  and  efficacious 
manner.  First  of  all  it  compels  the  proletariat  to  live  in  the  most 
disgusting  promiscuity.  Not  only  do  the  father,  the  mother  and 
the  children  occupy  the  same  room,  but  they  sleep  there,  often 
in  the  same  bed.  The  children  are  witnesses  of  their  parents' 
coitus  and  become  initiated  in  sexual  intercourse,  often  in  its 
most  bestial  form,  under  the  influence  of  alcohol,  for  example. 
Neglected  and  herded  together  with  other  children,  most  of  them 
as  badly  brought  up  as  themselves,  from  their  early  youth  they 
become  acquainted  not  only  with  the  most  gross  and  filthy 
things,  but  also  with  the  most  pathological  and  deformed 
excrescences  of  the  unhealthy  life  of  towns.    In  the  proletariat 


310  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

of  certain  towns  there  are  few  girls  of  fourteen  years  of  age  who 
are  still  virgins. 

Again,  poverty  urges  parents  to  exploit  their  children,  for  it 
is  easy  to  deliver  them  into  the  hands  of  proxenetism.  But  this 
is  not  confined  to  the  poorest  classes;  among  small  tradespeople, 
poverty  is  also  an  indirect  agent  of  prostitution.  Here  again 
the  effect  of  pitiless  exploitation  is  seen;  in  certain  occupations 
which  leave  the  girls  free  evenings,  and  also  in  certain  shops, 
the  proprietor  only  pays  his  employes  an  absurdly  smaU  salary, 
because  they  can  add  to  it  by  prostitution.  For  this  reason, 
many  saleswomen,  dressmakers,  etc.,  are  obliged  to  content 
themselves  "^ith  a  minimum  wage.  AATien  they  complain,  and 
especially  when  they  are  good  looking,  they  are  often  given  to 
understand  that  with  their  attractive  appearance  it  is  very 
easy  for  them  to  increase  their  income,  for  many  a  young  man 
would  be  glad  to  "befriend  them,"  to  say  nothing  of  other 
insinuations  of  the  same  kind.  I  have  already  pointed  out  how 
waitresses  are  utilized  as  bait  in  certain  taverns,  etc.  Let  us 
cite  a  few  figures: 

About  80  per  cent,  of  the  prostitutes  in  Paris  have  some 
occupation  besides  prostitution. 

In  factories,  shops,  etc.,  the  average  wage  of  men  is  4  francs 
20.  per  day;  that  of  women  2  francs  20. ;  but  in  domestic  service 
it  is  only  2  francs  10.  for  men  and  1  franc  10.,  or  even  90  centimes 
for  women,  even  where  the  latter  do  the  same  work !  Is  it  to  be 
wondered  that  they  have  recourse  to  prostitution? 

High -class  Brothels. — In  these  establishments  the  life  of  the 
prostitute  is  much  more  agi'eeable :  the  goods  of  superior  quality 
demanded  by  rich  and  fastidious  clients  requires  better  treatment 
and  special  care.  I  vdW  cite  a  case  published  in  the  annual  report 
of  the  Societe  de  Pestalozzi  (for  cruelty  to  children)  at  Vienna : 

"In  October,  1904,  the  Tyrolean  Society  for  Abandoned  In- 
fancy sent  us  the  papers  of  a  young  Tyrolean  girl  of  eighteen,  who 
was  found  at  Venice  under  police  control.  Our  attention  was 
drawn  to  the  youth  of  this  girl  and  the  incapacity  of  the  father 
to  induce  her  to  reform.  We  were  requested  to  restore  her,  if 
possible,  to  an  honest  life. 

We  made  the  usual  inquiries.      Having  many  brothers  and 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO   PROPERTY  311 

sisters,  this  girl,  at  the  age  of  fourteen,  obtained  a  situation  at 
Innsbruck,  where  she  was  badly  treated.  She  went  away  and 
gave  herself  gradually  to  prostitution,  latterly  at  Vienna. 

We  had  an  interview  with  her  at  our  office  and  ascertained  that 
she  had  experienced  ill-treatment  at  Innsbruck.  She  had  a 
modest  demeanor  and  made  a  good  impression.  She  regarded 
her  future  with  equanimity,  admitting  that  she  was  excluded 
from  society,  but  speaking  of  her  trade  as  seriously  as  if  it  was 
licit  and  officially  recognized. 

She  assured  us  that  her  parents,  having  great  difficulty  in  gain- 
ing a  livelihood,  agreed  with  her  in  her  choice  of  a  "  business."  She 
was  on  very  good  terms  with  them  and  sent  them  money. 

To  obtain  a  certificate  from  the  police,  the  consent  of  her 
parents  was  necessary.  Her  mother  had  told  her  that  if  she  re- 
mained pious  and  honest  no  one  could  reproach  her.  She  held 
"Madame"  (the  proprietress  of  the  brothel)  in  high  esteem,  on 
account  of  her  kind  treatment  of  her  "boarders."  The  house  in 
which  she  was  located  was  first-class,  both  as  regards  clients  and 
treatment.  There  were  about  a  dozen  young  girls  there,  most  of 
them  younger  than  herself,  all  with  their  parents'  consent;  and 
many  of  them  sent  home  what  they  earned. 

She  said  that  her  companions  were  very  happy,  being  well  fed 
and  clothed,  and  earning  from  120  to  240  crowns  a  month.  With 
much  ingenuousness  she  told  us  how  Madame,  whom  she  greatly 
respected,  had  looked  after  two  old  "boarders,"  who  no  longer 
had  any  clients.     She  also  had  a  protector. 

We  tried  to  induce  her  to  commence  another  fife,  promising 
her  a  situation,  but  she  refused,  saying  that  even  if  she  wished  to 
do  so  Madame  would  not  let  her  go;  besides,  she  would  always 
be  reproached  for  her  past  life,  and  she  did  not  wish  to  live  with 
people  who  would  always  despise  her.  She  had  already  suffered 
enough  trouble  and  did  not  wish  to  launch  on  the  unknown. 
Moreover,  she  had  lost  her  former  habits  and  had  never  learnt 
anything  seriously.  In  short,  she  did  not  wish  to  give  up  her 
pleasant  and  comfortable  life! 

This  conversation  led  us  to  the  conclusion  that  the  case  in  ques- 
tion was  not  of  a  nature  to  justify  any  action  on  the  part  of  our 
society  for  the  rescue  of  young  women. 

In  spite  of  her  tender  age,  this  girl  gave  us  the  impression  of 
mature  judgment.  It  appeared  already  much  too  late  to  attempt 
to  recommence  her  education.  She  also  showed  signs  of  great 
anxiety  when  we  spoke  to  her  of  leaving  her  brothel. 


312  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

This  case  requires  no  comment;  it  gives  a  good  idea  of  our 
social  condition.  The  rehgious  piety  of  this  girl,  and  her  pro- 
found veneration  for  "Madame,"  are  typical  of  the  deviation 
of  moral  sense  by  the  suggestion  of  environment. 

Varieties  in  Prostitutes. — We  thus  see  that  prostitutes  con- 
stitute a  collection  of  very  different  individuals.  Although  it 
may  be  true  that,  on  the  average,  their  ranks  are  recruited  from 
girls  who  are  coarse,  shameless,  depraved  and  alcoholic,  it  is 
no  less  false  to  conclude  that  all  are  of  bad  heredity.  A  con- 
siderable number  are  pathological  individuals,  including  hys- 
terical subjects,  nymphomaniacs  and  other  psychopaths.  Others 
again  are  naturally  amoral,  stupid,  idle  and  deceitful,  or  have 
been  accustomed  to  vicious  surroundings  from  infancy;  or  else 
they  are  of  an  absolutely  indifferent  and  apathetic  nature,  or 
very  suggestible  and  yielding  to  every  seduction  and  external 
impulse.  The  latter  perhaps  form  the  largest  contingent, 
because  they  most  easily  become  the  prey  of  proxenetism. 

Many  of  them  have  fallen  by  seduction.  Ashamed  of  their 
first  error,  and  not  having  the  courage  to  bear  the  consequences, 
they  gradually  sink  into  the  swamp  of  prostitution.  Illegitimate 
births  play  a  great  part  here. 

A  certain  class  of  prostitutes  ply  their  trade  simply  from 
poverty  and  want,  being  ashamed  of  it  but  profiting  by  it  to 
maintain  their  family.  But  poverty  acts  cliiefly  in  combination 
with  other  causes. 

There  still  remains  a  very  limited  group  formed  by  individuals  " 
who  give  themselves  up  to  prostitution  for  love  of  it.     These  are 
generally  women  with  a  morbid  and  violent  sexual  appetite, 
joined  to  want  of  moral  sense.     Rich  women,  even  countesses 
and  princesses  have  been  kno'^m  to  become  prostitutes. 

This  diversity  among  prostitutes  explains  why  there  are 
different  degrees  in  prostitution.  Although  its  depravity  is 
often  more  or  less  masked  by  fine  clothes  and  good  cheer,  the 
lowest  level  is  represented  by  the  girl  of  the  brothels,  who  is 
little  more  than  an  instrument  for  coitus  in  the  hands  of  prox- 
enetism (with  the  exception  of  certain  high-class  brothels).  It 
is  the  prostitutes  of  low-class  brothels  for  soldiers  who  lead  the 
most  miserable  Hfe.    Such  houses  only  keep  refuse  merchandise. 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      313 

i.e.,  old  prostitutes  who  are  no  good  for  anything  else.  There  is 
no  sadder  sight  than  a  soldiers'  brothel. 

The  prostitution  in  cafes,  scent  shops,  glove  shops,  etc.,  con- 
stitutes a  slightly  higher  grade.  As  regards  danger  of  venereal 
infection  this  is  as  great  as  anywhere,  but  the  girls  are  rather 
more  independent  and  lead  a  more  natural  life.  It  is  precisely 
because  these  places  are  not  under  legal  protection,  that  the 
patrons  or  protectors  of  prostitutes  cannot  employ  the  terrorism 
of  licensed  proxenets. 

The  free  prostitutes  of  the  streets  are  about  on  the  same  level. 
They  are  not  dependent  on  proxenetism,  but  only  on  their  pro- 
tector and  proprietor,  which  is  a  trifle  less  degrading.  What 
degrades  them  most  of  all  is  police  inscription,  obligatory  medi- 
cal inspection,  and  the  miserable  system  of  solicitation  on  the 
pavement.  It  is  necessary  to  have  lost  all  feeling  of  modesty, 
and  to  possess  a  cynical  audacity  to  become  a  street  pros- 
titute. 

Prostitutes  who  only  practice  occasionally  and  have  not  the 
courage  to  sohcit,  nor  to  be  inscribed  by  the  poHce,  belong  to 
a  higher  level.  But  in  countries  where  regulation  is  in  force 
they  always  run  the  risk  of  being  arrested  by  the  pohce  and  put 
on  the  inscription  Hst.  These  private  prostitutes  constitute  the 
intermediate  stage  between  prostitution  properly  so-called,  and 
venal  concubinage,  which  we  shall  speak  of  later. 

The  army  of  prostitutes  is  partly  composed  of  pathological 
individuals.  Alcohol  and  vicious  habits  increase  their  abnormal 
tendencies,  so  that  their  behavior  leaves  nothing  wanting  in  the 
way  of  temper,  impulsiveness,  cynicism  and  insolence.  This  is 
seen  every  day  in  hospitals  for  venereal  disease.  As  soon  as  a 
prostitute  finds  her  physical  condition  improve  after  a  few  days 
in  hospital,  sexual  abstinence  arouses  her  appetite  to  such  an 
extent  that  she  indulges  in  lesbian  love  with  her  companions,  or 
shows  herself  naked  at  the  windows,  etc.  Some  prostitutes  of 
better  quality  suffer  at  first  from  the  scandalous  tone  of  the 
brothel,  but  they  generally  become  used  to  it,  and  end  with 
adopting  it  themselves.  Honest  women,  infected  accidentally 
or  by  their  husbands,  suffer  martyrdom  when  they  are  sent  to 
the  venereal  divisions  of  hospitals. 


314  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  Fate  of  Prostitutes. — ^What  becomes  of  prostitutes  in  the 
course  of  time?  They  cannot  remain  very  long  in  the  brothels 
for  they  only  accept  young  and  fine-looking  girls.  It  would  be 
interesting  to  follow  the  fate  of  all  these  women.  At  all  events 
nothing  is  more  absurd  than  the  common  saying  that  the  sup- 
pression of  brothels  increases  prostitution  in  the  streets,  and 
that  their  introduction  suppresses  it.  It  is  obvious  that,  as  the 
women  in  brothels  have  to  be  continually  renewed,  they  must 
be  continually  thrown  onto  the  streets.  No  doubt  many  pros- 
titutes die  at  an  early  age  from  the  results  of  alcohol  and  syphilis. 
The  only  resource  left  to  many,  when  they  are  -ejected  from  the 
brothels,  is  to  solicit  in  the  streets  or  to  join  clandestine  brothels 
or  taverns  of  the  same  nature. 

The  most  profligate,  those  who  look  upon  their  profession  from 
the  artistic  or  the  commercial  points  of  view,  know  how  to  advance 
themselves  and  become  "Madames";  but  these  are  compara- 
tively few  in  number.    Some  end  in  suicide  or  lunatic  asylums. 

As  a  last  resource,  when  no  man  will  have  anything  to  do 
with  them,  many  of  them  take  to  the  lowest  occupations,  such 
as  cleaning  lavatories,  etc.  At  Munich  it  used  to  be  proverbial 
that  the  class  of  "Radiweiber"  and  "Nussweiber"  (old  women 
selling  nuts  etc.,  at  the  street  corners)  were  mostly  recruited 
from  old  prostitutes.  Occasionally  a  better  class  prostitute 
succeeds  in  getting  married. 

If  we  consider  without  prejudice  the  miserable  life  of  a  pros- 
titute, we  cannot  hear  the  term  "fdle  de  joie"  without  a  feeling 
of  sadness  and  indignation,  for  it  conveys  such  bitter  and  tragic 
irony.  If  we  could  ourselves  experience  the  true  state  of  mind 
which  is  hidden  behind  the  smiles  and  songs  of  so  many  miserable 
singers  at  cafe  concerts,  and  behind  the  brazen  artifices  of  many 
prostitutes;  if  we  could  learn  their  past  life  and  the  cause  of 
their  fall,  no  man  with  a  spark  of  pity  or  sympathy  for  his  fel- 
lows could  relish  with  a  light  heart  a  "joy"  bought  at  such  a 
price.  For  those  who  read  German,  I  recommend  on  this  sub- 
ject: Tagehuch  einer  Verlornen,  hy  Ma,vguer\te  Bohme.  (Berlin: 
Fontane,  1905.) 

Prostitution  and  Sexual  Perversion. — If  it  is  true  that  many 
prostitutes  have  a  pathological  heredity,  it  is  still  more  sure  that 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      315 

they  often  have  to  submit  to  the  fancies  of  pathological  cHents. 
The  numerous  sexual  anomalies,  of  which  we  have  spoken  in 
Chapter  VIII,  are  closely  connected  with  prostitution.  The 
refinement  of  modern  civilization  is  so  complete  that  it  sup- 
plies localities  and  women  for  the  special  use  of  each  pathological 
form  of  the  sexual  appetite. 

So  far  we  have  only  spoken  of  female  prostitutes,  and  we  have 
seen  how  they  conform  to  the  customs  of  sadists,  masochists,  etc. 
They  allow  themselves  to  be  maltreated  by  the  former,  and 
maltreat  the  latter;  or  else  they  play  at  exhibitions  symbolical 
of  cruelty  or  humiliation. 

For  male  inverts,  on  the  other  hand,  there  exist  male  brothels, 
in  which  young  boys  practice  pederasty  for  money.  For  certain 
rich  roues,  or  for  those  affected  with  pederosis,  children  are  kept. 
This  last  class  of  goods  is  very  dear,  for  there  is  always  a  risk  of 
the  law  intervening.  Young  virgins  also  fetch  a  high  price; 
and  they  even  try  to  sew  up  the  hymen  after  their  defloration, 
so  as  to  offer  them  several  times  as  virgins! 

With  what  we  have  said  in  Chapter  VIII,  these  indications 
will  suffice  to  show  that  modern  prostitution  and  proxenetism 
constitute  a  public  disgrace,  intended  to  exploit  the  unbridled 
desires  of  men  for  profit.  This  system  has  been  defended  on  the 
grounds  of  hygiene  and  the  protection  of  virtuous  women  against 
the  assaults  of  men,  etc.  In  reality,  it  has  resulted  in  corrupting 
and  effeminating  men;  in  restricting  the  normal  sexual  inter- 
course of  youth  in  its  natural  association  with  an  inconsiderate 
love;  in  degrading  love  itself;  in  debarring  a  great  number  of 
capable  and  virtuous  women  from  marriage,  from  love,  and  from 
sexual  intercourse  in  general;  lastly,  in  causing  complete  aber- 
ration of  the  whole  sexual  life  of  modern  society. 

Contemporary  literature  has  begun  to  consider  the  psychol- 
ogy of  prostitution.  We  have  already  mentioned  La  Maison 
Tellier  by  de  Maupassant;  Zola's  Nana  is  the  history  of  a  high- 
class  prostitute  related  in  the  well-kno^\Ti  reahstic  manner 
of  the  celebrated  novelist,  in  which  he  describes  the  sexual 
depravity  existing  in  certain  Parisian  circles  of  the  Second 
Empire. 

I  will  now  make  a  few  remarks  concerning  a  social  movement 


316  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

organized  against  the  regulation  of  prostitution,  called  aboli- 
tionism. 

Abolitionism  and  Regulation. — An  Englishwoman,  Mrs.  Joseph- 
ine Butler,  undertook,  in  the  name  of  liberty,  a  campaign 
against  proxenetism,  white  slavery  and  the  State  regulation  of 
prostitution.  She  also  attacked  the  injustice  of  the  Code  Napo- 
leon toward  women,  especially  the  prohibition  of  inquiry  into 
paternity,  which  throws  girls  who  have  been  seduced  into  the 
arms  of  prostitution.  The  abolitionists  contest  the  right  of 
police  inscription  of  prostitutes  under  the  pretext  of  hygiene, 
of  submitting  them  against  their  wall  to  medical , inspection,  and 
of  keeping  them  in  brothels.  They  claim  severe  laws  against 
proxenetism  and  oppose  toleration. 

In  medical  circles  the  system  of  regulation  has  generally  been 
defended.  It  is  urged  that  society  has  the  right  to  protect  itself 
against  dangerous  infection,  and  that,  with  this  object,  it  has 
as  much  right  to  treat  infected  prostitutes  compulsorily,  as 
those  affected  with  smallpox  or  cholera.  Owing  to  their  shame- 
ful trade,  they  maintain  that  these  women  have  lost  all  claim  to 
special  consideration. 

This  argument  appears  very  reasonable  at  first  sight,  but  it 
takes  quite  a  different  aspect  when  the  facts  are  examined  more 
thoroughly. 

First  of  all  the  comparison  with  smallpox  and  cholera  is 
illogical,  for  these  diseases  endanger  the  innocent  public,  while 
the  man  who  makes  use  of  prostitution  is  quite  aware  of  the 
danger  he  runs.  Society  is  under  no  obligation  to  provide 
healthy  prostitutes  for  the  use  of  Don  Juan. 

Against  this  it  is  stated  that  innocent  wdves  are  often  infected 
and  made  to  suffer  for  the  sins  of  their  husbands.  But  such  an 
extensive  blending  of  the  State  with  family  life  does  not  appear 
to  be  admissible,  and  would  lead  to  crying  abuses.  Society  has 
neither  the  right  nor  the  duty  to  facilitate  the  dangerous  or 
injurious  acts  of  certain  individuals  at  the  expense  of  others, 
by  rendering  them  less  dangerous,  so  that  certain  third  parties 
may  be  less  Uable  to  suffer.  This  is  an  absurd  sophism.  The 
duty  of  society  is  to  make  responsible  the  one  who  has  committed 
the  dangerous  or  injurious  act,  and  to  punish  him  if  he  has  done 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY  317 

harm.  Here,  on  the  contrary,  one  only  of  the  culprits  (the  pros- 
titute) is  compelled  to  keep  to  her  vile  trade,  while  the  man 
who  makes  use  of  her,  and  often  infects  her,  is  free  from  any 
responsibility.  Moreover,  the  State  has  no  right  to  act  against 
responsible  persons  under  the  pretext  that  their  future  senti- 
ments or  actions  would  have  dangerous  consequences  for  others; 
this  would  lead  to  arbitrary  abuse  of  power.  The  insane,  and 
habitual  criminals  make  the  only  exceptions,  for  their  abnormal 
and  irresponsible  cerebral  organization  is  a  perpetual  danger 
to  society. 

There  is  one  question,  however,  which  arises:  Can  prostitu- 
tion in  itself  be  regarded  as  a  misdemeanor  punishable  by  law? 
If  this  were  the  case,  the  client  would  have  to  be  punished  as 
well  as  the  prostitute;  or  both  of  them  be  sent  to  reformatories. 
This  is  the  only  logical  consequence,  for  in  such  cases  the  two 
contractors  are  equally  guilty,  and  also  equally  dangerous  as 
regards  infection. 

How,  therefore,  can  the  system  be  justified  which  brands  and 
inscribes  the  prostitute  only;  which  is  not  content  with  tolerat- 
ing her  vile  trade  instead  of  punishing  it,  but  gives  it  official 
sanction,  causing  her  to  fall  lower  and  lower;  which  finally,  to 
crown  the'work,  licenses  the  proxenetism  which  exploits  her  vice? 
It  is  difficult  to  imagine  more  complete  hypocrisy,  or  a  more 
contradictory  system. 

In  former  times  when  slavery  was  allowed,  men's  will  and 
pleasure  were  sufficient  to  justify  such  measures,  which  created 
for  their  profit  a  class  of  female  pariahs;  and  this  was  frankly 
and  openly  admitted.  Nowadays,  the  equal  rights  of  women 
which  are  officially  recognized  in  civilized  countries  no  longer 
allow  it,  and  hygienic  arguments  only  can  give  such  modern 
barbarity  the  hypocritical  appearance  of  justification.  Luna- 
tics and  criminals  are  only  locked  up  as  a  measure  of  safety, 
and  to  attempt  to  improve  them;  but  their  bodies  are  not 
allowed  to  become  an  object  of  commerce  for  the  pleasure  of 
other  members  of  society. 

But  the  results  of  honestly  interpreted  statistics  contradict 
the  apparent  justification  of  the  regulation  of  prostitution,  in 
the  name  of  hygiene.     It  is  intended  to  furnish  men  with  a 


318  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

means  of  coitus  free  from  danger;  but  the  facts  prove  that 
venereal  disease  has  not  been  diminished  by  this  means.  The 
false  security  given  to  men  officially  by  regulation  makes  them 
all  the  more  careless.  The  multiplication  of  the  sexual  con- 
nections of  each  prostitute  increases  the  danger  of  infection  at 
least  as  much  as  the  elimination  of  a  few  diseased  persons 
diminishes  it. 

The  corruption  of  the  State  and  its  officials,  especially  the 
police  and  the  medical  inspectors  of  brothels,  the  general  deprav- 
ity which  results  from  official  toleration,  and  the  perversion  of 
ideas  of  morality  among  the  public,  increase  habits  of  prostitu- 
tion, and  with  it  the  danger  of  infection.  Assured  of  impunity 
the  pimps  and  their  acolytes  become  more  and  more  audacious 
and  extend  their  business,  while  the  prostitutes,  whose  number  is 
increased  by  this  system,  seek  to  escape  the  police  and  practice 
their  trade  clandestinely.  It  is  no  wonder  that  the  swamp  to 
be  purified  becomes  more  and  more  infectious.  Can  it  be  con- 
scientiously said  that  hygiene  has  benefited?  This  is  well  seen 
in  Geneva  and  in  France.  It  is  enough  to  compare  the  number 
of  cases  of  venereal  disease  and  of  prostitutes  in  countries  where 
regulation  is  in  force,  with  those  which  do  not  employ  it,  to  show 
the  complete  fiasco  of  the  system  from  the  hygienic  point  of 
view.  On  the  average,  the  number  of  infectious  cases  is  nearly 
the  same  with  or  without  regulation  and  depends  on  many  other 
causes.  I  cannot  enter  into  the  details  here  and  must  refer  to 
the  statistics  and  to  the  works  published  by  the  Abolitionist 
Federation  (6  Rue  St.  Leger,  Geneva). 

Of  all  that  has  been  published,  nothing  appears  to  me  more 
conclusive  than  the  masterly  statistics  of  Mounier,  for  Hol- 
land, in  1889.  Even  among  medical  men,  the  originators  of 
regulation,  the  abolitionist  point  of  view  is  steadily  gaining 
ground.  It  is  beginning  to  be  understood  that  the  toleration  of 
proxenetism,  and  even  the  inscription  and  medical  inspection 
of  prostitutes,  are  vicious  methods  of  social  sanitation  against 
venereal  infection. 

But  by  the  suppression  of  official  toleration  and  regulation, 
the  question  of  prostitution  is  in  no  way  settled.  This  has  only 
a  negative  action,  important  for  the  tactics  of  those  who  wish  to 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY     319 

upset  a  scandalous  abuse,  but  which  does  not  respond  to  the 
higher  task  of  extirpating  the  root  of  the  evil.  The  positive 
work  will  only  begin  when  the  State  is  relieved  of  its  shameful 
compact  with  proxenetism  and  prostitution. 

In  the  following  chapters  we  shall  examine  the  remedies 
which  must  be  applied  to  our  sexual  anarchy,  the  result  of  mas- 
culine autocracy,  as  Russian  anarchy  is  the  result  of  Tsarism. 
I  will  first  make  a  few  observations  from  the  medical  and  hy- 
gienic point  of  view,  to  the  partisans  of  regulation.  They 
exclaim  that  the  abolitionists  are  fanatics,  who,  from  their 
absence  of  scientific  spirit,  will  deluge  society  with  venereal  dis- 
ease. This  bogy  has  no  sound  foundation.  The  State  regula- 
tion of  prostitution  applied  to  certain  women  has  not  diminished 
the  amount  of  venereal  disease,  because  it  does  not  reach  it. 
The  State  concession  of  an  unnatural  vice  cannot  be  hygienic. 
Moreover,  it  is  impossible  to  completely  disinfect  prostitutes, 
this  disinfection  is  quite  illusory,  unless  it  is  also  apphed  to  their 
clients,  which  is  impracticable. 

In  France,  where  the  system  of  regulation  has  existed  for  a 
long  time  in  its  strictest  form,  venereal  diseases  are  extremely 
prevalent;  while  in  Switzerland,  where  it  only  exists  at  Geneva, 
having  been  suppressed  for  some  years  in  the  Canton  of  Zurich, 
they  are  less  frequent.  Geneva  is  not  less  contaminated  than 
other  towns  in  Switzerland,  in  spite  of  its  model  brothels,  and 
Zurich  has  lately,  by  popular  vote,  confirmed  abolition  by  a 
crushing  majority,  in  opposition  to  a  few  interested  persons  who 
wished  to  reestablish  the  brothels  under  futile  and  fallacious 
pretexts.  Some  clandestine  brothels  still  exist  in  towns  where 
the  authorities  shut  their  eyes. 

It  has  also  been  maintained  that  the  number  of  sexual  mis- 
demeanors would  increase  with  the  suppression  of  brothels. 
This  is  another  illusion.  The  majority  of  sexual  misdemeanors 
are  due  to  psychic  anomalies  (Chapter  VIII)  or  to  the  effects  of 
alcoholic  intoxication.  If  they  have  any  relation  to  prostitu- 
tion, it  is  rather  that  of  being  favored  by  its  orgies. 

Remedies  for  the  Evil. — What  is  wanted  first  of  all  are  severe 
laws  against  proxenetism.  It  is  indisputable  that  commerce 
made  with  the  body  of  one's  neighbor  is  illegal,  even  when  the 


320  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

latter  gives  consent.  It  is  a  crime  or  misdemeanor  which  should 
be  prosecuted  hke  negro  slavery  or  usury.  We  should  not  wait 
for  a  complaint  to  be  lodged,  but  prosecute  proxenetism  offi- 
cially, for  the  victims  are  hindered  by  shame  from  coming  for- 
ward. The  pimps  of  proxenetism  are  recruited  from  the  dregs 
of  society.  In  this  domain,  as  in  the  others,  penal  law  should 
not  be  put  in  force;  the  object  should  be  the  protection  of 
society  and  the  improvement  of  the  criminal. 

As  regards  prostitution  itself,  it  cannot  be  made  a  misde- 
meanor without  opening  the  door  too  widely  to  complete  arbi- 
trariness. The  State  cannot  prevent  a  responsible  adult  from 
disposing  of  his  own  body,  without  introducing  rehgion  and 
metaphysics  into  legislation;  but  the  State  can  require  those 
who  practice  prostitution  not  to  molest  the  public.  It  has, 
therefore,  the  right  to  punish  solicitation  in  the  streets  by  fine 
or  imprisomnent,  especially  in  often  repeated  offenses.  It  can 
also  give  persons  of  both  sexes,  who  are  victims  of  venereal  dis- 
ease, the  right  of  claiming  damages  by  ci\dl  law.  The  legality  of 
this  right  of  indemnity  has  been  much  contested.  In  my  opin- 
ion it  is  legitimate  when  the  State  no  longer  tolerates  or  regulates 
prostitution;  but  so  long  as  it  does  this,  and  submits  prostitutes 
to  obligatory  medical  treatment,  the  States  takes  the  respon- 
sibility of  their  health.  Under  the  regime  of  regulation,  an 
infected  person  could  logically  claim  damages  from  the  State, 
or,  at  any  rate  from  the  pimps  of  licensed  proxenetism. 

The  question  of  responsibility  is  quite  different  when  prosti- 
tution is  free.  The  sexual  intercourse  of  a  free  prostitute  with 
a  man  may  be  regarded  as  a  private  contract  in  which  each 
party  has  the  same  rights  and  obligations.  If  one  of  the  tw^o 
contractors  deceives  the  other  by  concealing  venereal  disease, 
the  latter  has  the  right  to  claim  damages,  if  there  is  sufficient 
proof  of  infection  from  this  source. 

The  right  of  indemnity  does  not,  however,  constitute  the 
principal  point.  In  order  to  successfully  combat  prostitution 
and  venereal  disease,  fundamental  social  reforms  are  nec- 
essary. 

(1).  First  of  aU  the  system  of  exploitation  of  the  poor  by  the 
rich  should  be  put  an  end  to,  the  work  of  the  poor  being  remu- 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      321 

nerated  at  its  true  value.  This  requires  a  social  transformation 
of  the  relations  between  capital  and  labor. 

(2).  The  use  of  narcotics,  and  especially  alcohol,  should  be 
suppressed. 

(3).  The  false  modesty  concerning  sexual  intercourse  should 
be  done  away  with. 

(4).  The  public  should  be  instructed  in  the  dangers  of  venereal 
disease  and  in  the  means  of  preventing  contamination.  The 
only  certain  means  of  curing  them  consists  in  not  contracting 
them. 

(5).  Cleanliness  should  be  universally  encouraged,  especially 
in  sexual  intercourse. 

(6) .  Preventive  measures  should  be  employed  in  every  coitus, 
the  object  of  which  is  not  procreation. 

(7).  The  treatment  of  venereal  diseases  in  hospitals  should 
be  carried  out  in  a  decent  and  humane  manner,  so  as  not  to 
shock  the  modesty  of  either  sex,  especially  women,  and  so  that 
patients  need  not  be  ashamed  of  submitting  to  medical  treat- 
ment. Nowadays  the  venereal  divisions  of  hospitals  often  more 
resemble  brothels.  This  state  of  things  makes  it  impossible  for 
any  woman  with  a  particle  of  modesty  to  stay  in  these  places. 
It  is  evident  that  women  w4io  are  more  or  less  virtuous,  and  even 
the  better  class  of  prostitutes,  will  avoid  such  hospital  treat- 
ment as  much  as  possible,  and  will  thereby  become  the  worst 
sources  of  infection. 

By  treating  venereal  disease  in  hospital  with  more  regard  for 
decency  and  modesty,  by  abolishing  the  brand  of  shame,  and  by 
separating  patients  according  to  their  behavior,  we  might  suc- 
ceed in  improving  a  state  of  things  which  is  often  unbearable. 
Patients  with  venereal  diseases  would  then  more  willingly  sub- 
mit to  hospital  treatment  and  would  be  more  easily  cured.  In 
Italy  much  progress  has  already  been  made  in  this  direction. 

In  conclusion,  I  am  convinced  that  if  we  should  be  contented 
for  the  present  with  damming  up  prostitution  and  suppressing 
the  causes  which  render  prostitutes  more  and  mm-e  abject, 
without  yet  being  able  to  abolish  the  whole  evil,  a  transforma- 
tion of  our  social  life,  and  especially  the  suppression  of  the 
reign  of  capital  as  a  means  of  exploitation  of  the  work  of  others, 


322  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

and  suppression  of  the  use  of  alcoholic  drinks,  would  eventually 
succeed  in  the  gradual  extinction  of  prostitution  and  the  sub- 
stitution of  concubinage,  which  has  much  less  evil  results. 

VENAL    CONCUBINAGE 

Venal  concubinage  occupies  an  intermediate  position  between 
prostitution  and  concubinage.  It  is  distinguished  from  the 
latter  by  the  fact  that  it  is  remunerated;  but  the  distinction  is 
very  fine. 

Lorettes. — This  is  an  old  term  which  may  be  applied  to  paid 
women  who  are  not  regular  prostitutes.  It  is  hardly  possible 
to  distinguish  them  from  clandestine  prostitutes  (not  on  the 
police  inscription).  They  are  women  who  do  not  practice 
solicitation  or  sell  themselves  to  the  first  comer,  but  generally 
keep  to  one  man  for  a  time. 

Grisettes. — The  Parisian  grisette,  whose  type  has  become  clas- 
sic, is  a  higher  class  of  woman  who,  at  any  rate  in  her  primitive 
simplicity,  was  not  wanting  in  romance.  Relations  ^dth  a 
grisette  may  be  compared  to  limited  and  free  marriage,  in  which 
there  is  comparative  fidelity. 

Like  some  of  the  free  prostitutes,  the  grisette  does  not  live 
only  on  the  support  of  her  lover.  She  is  often  a  dressmaker  or 
a  shop-girl,  and  makes  arrangements  with  a  lover  so  as  to  live 
more  comfortably. 

When  the  grisette  acts  as  her  lover's  housekeeper  and  lives 
with  him  on  terms  of  the  closest  intimacy,  the  liaison  takes  a 
more  serious  character  and  there  is  a  certain  degree  of  affection 
or  even  love.  However,  all  these  concubinages  are  generally 
limited  to  a  few  weeks  or  months,  so  that  the  natural  love  of  the 
woman  becomes  blunted  by  successive  polyandry.  It  is  always 
more  or  less  a  question  of  "an  accessory  business." 

There  are  all  kinds  of  lorettes  and  grisettes,  but  as  a  rule  they 
are  generally  attached  to  small  tradesmen,  students,  working- 
men,  etc.,  rather  than  to  rich  men.  It  is  a  kind  of  contract  for 
a  limited  period.  This  system  is  very  ^videspread  in  large  towns, 
where  the  inhabitants  do  not  interfere  with  each  other's  affairs; 
but  is  difficult  to  manage  in  small  towns,  where  every  one  knows 
everybody. 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY  323 

Mistresses. — These  may  be  called  the  aristocrats  of  the  species. 
Here  we  see  more  distinctly  the  transition  from  venal  love  to 
free  concubinage  based  on  mutual  love.  The  hetaira  of  the  an- 
cient Greeks  (vide  Chapter  VI)  corresponded  more  or  less  to 
the  modern  mistresses,  especially  to  the  intelligent  mistresses 
of  men  in  high  positions.  In  certain  respects  we  may  say  that 
George  Sand,  for  example,  was  a  hetaira  from  pure  love,  while 
among  the  Greek  hetaira  money  played  a  gi-eat  part.  Some 
mistresses  are  paid;  others  Hve  on  terms  of  equality  with  their 
lovers;  others  again  maintain  their  lovers.  We  must  also  dis- 
tinguish between  mistresses  who  live  with  married  men,  and 
those  who  live  with  bachelors. 

The  most  typical  case  is  that  where  a  bachelor  who  wishes  to 
remain  free  takes  a  mistress,  whom  he  also  makes  mistress  of 
his  house,  and  who  thus  becomes  an  illegitimate  wife  who  may 
separate  from  him  when  it  pleases  her.  Some  women  contract 
this  kind  of  union  without  being  actually  paid,  simply  for  their 
maintenance,  in  return  for  which  they  do  the  housework.  Here 
there  is  no  actual  sale  of  the  body.  The  contract  may  be  indefi- 
nite or  limited.  In  such  cases  the  effect  of  money  on  the  atti- 
tude of  the  man  toward  his  mistress  is  evident;  his  tone  is  gen- 
erally less  respectful  toward  paid  mistresses  than  toward  those 
who  are  not  paid.  The  love  of  the  paid  mistress  is  httle  more 
durable  or  more  intense  than  that  of  the  grisette,  the  situation 
being  almost  the  same. 

Zola's  Nana  prostituted  herself  regularly  with  rich  men: 
secondly,  she  was  the  mistress  of  Fontan,  who  plays  the  part  of 
a  high-class  protector;  thirdly,  she  fell  in  love  with  Georges  in 
quite  an  idyllic  fashion.  Bordenave,  the  manager,  had  good 
reason  in  wishing  his  theater  to  be  called  a  brothel,  as  he  was 
more  of  a  pimp  than  a  theatrical  manager.  This  example,  a 
httle  far-fetched,  shows  how  ideas  pass  from  one  to  another  m 
this  elastic  domain.  ' 

There  are  also  married  mistresses.  The  position  of  mistress 
to  a  married  man  is,  on  the  whole,  more  delicate  than  that  of 
mistress  to  a  bachelor.  We  are  only  concerned  here  with  paid 
mistresses.  They  seldom  give  themselves  to  married  men  ex- 
cept when  the  home  life  of  the  latter  is  more  or  less  disorganized; 


324  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

when  the  husband  is  separated  from  the  wife,  or  when  he  hves 
in  open  w^arfare  with  her.  A  married  man,  on  the  contrary, 
may  secretly  visit  brothels  or  private  prostitutes,  often  even 
with  his  wife's  knowledge,  because  the  prostitute  can  have  no 
influence  in  family  affairs.  This  reason  has  even  been  used  for 
the  defense  of  prostitution.  It  is  true  that  married  men  often 
have  connection  with  other  women,  and  the  term  mistress  has 
been  applied  to  the  women  who  take  part  in  this  intercourse, 
whether  they  or  their  lover,  or  both  of  them,  are  already  married. 
But  in  this  case  money  is  usually  only  a  secondary  consider- 
ation, when  the  households  concerned  are  not  broken  up.  It 
is  often  only  the  maneuver  of  an  intriguer  who  tries  to  separate 
a  husband  from  his  wife  to  marry  him  herself  and  monopolize 
his  fortune.  It  is  sufficient  to  show  how  difficult  it  often  is 
to  distinguish  the  paid  mistress  from  the  woman  who  does  not 
give  herself  from  interest  but  from  passion,  or  from  the  intrig- 
uing adventuress  who  tries  to  make  a  good  catch. 

Lorettes,  grisettes  and  paid  mistresses  seldom  have  children. 
These  women  are  more  rarely  infected  with  venereal  diseases 
than  prostitutes,  but  they  are  better  acquainted  with  the  meth- 
ods of  preventing  conception. 

The  fate  of  the  children  of  venal  concubines  is  generally  very 
sad.  They  are  not  the  fruits  of  love  but  of  a  sexual  union  based 
on  idleness  and  lewdness.  If  conception  occurs  in  spite  of  all 
precautions,  artificial  abortion  is  attempted,  or  if  this  fails  the 
child  is  sent  to  the  "baby  farmer,"  who  gets  rid  of  it.  The 
women  who  dispose  of  their  children  in  this  way  are  often  of  the 
better  class;  common  prostitutes  often  love  and  take  care  of 
their  children,  while  the  young  ladies  of  society  generally  try 
and  get  rid  of  their  illegitimate  children,  because  they  are  much 
more  compromised.  Some  married  women  even  do  not  hesitate 
to  perform  abortion  when  a  child  inconveniences  them. 

We  have  only  mentioned  the  fourth  gi'oup  of  women  with 
which  we  are  concerned,  because  of  its  mercantile  nature.  Every 
union  in  which  a  human  being  gives  love  for  money  is  unnatural. 
Venal  love  is  not  true  love,  but  an  improper  contract  between 
man  and  woman,  with  the  object  of  satisfying  the  sexual  appe- 
tite, without  any  regard  to  the  higher  object  intended  by  nature. 


SEXUAL  QUESTION  IN  RELATION  TO  PROPERTY      325 

It  sometimes  happens  that  similar  contracts  are  made  in  the 
inverse  direction,  when  a  nymphomaniacal  woman  purchases  a 
fine  young  man,  under  some  pretext  or  other.  Inverts  also  pay 
boys  to  satisfy  their  perverted  appetites. 

However  unsavory  may  be  the  contents  of  the  present  chap- 
ter, it  was  necessary  to  write  it  in  order  to  give  a  clear  idea  of 
the  subject.  Under  the  pretense  of  virtue  venal  love  has  too 
long  been  covered  with  a  veil  of  hypocrisy.  Prostitution,  mar- 
riage for  money  and  venal  concubinage  are,  each  in  its  way, 
elements  of  corruption  and  decadence  which,  combined  with 
alcohol,  gambling,  speculation,  the  greed  for  money  and  pleasure 
in  general,  threaten  our  modern  culture  with  ruin.  Among  these 
anomalies,  the  State  organization  of  prostitution  being  the  most 
monstrous,  it  is  necessary  to  begin  with  its  suppression. 

Among  the  ancients,  the  goddess  Venus  or  Aphrodite  was  the 
symbol  of  beauty  and  love.  Although  somewhat  sly,  she 
was  fecund,  full  of  desire  and  charm,  and  embodied  not  only  the 
natural  aspirations  of  man,  but  also  his  artistic  ideal.  Nowa- 
days, she  is  dragged  in  the  mire  by  two  false  gods — Bacchus, 
who  makes  a  gross  and  vulgar  brute  of  her,  and  Mammon,  who 
transforms  her  into  a  venal  prostitute — while  a  hypocritical 
religious  asceticism,  endeavors  in  vain  to  confine  her  in  a  strait- 
waistcoat.  May  the  progress  of  science  and  culture  find  the 
power  to  deliver  her  from  the  tyranny  of  her  two  infamous 
companions,  deified  by  human  ignorance  and  bestiality.  Then 
only  will  the  goddess  of  love  appear  in  all  her  glory! 


CHAPTER   XI 

THE   INFLUENCE    OF   ENVIRONMENT    ON    SEXUAL   LIFE 

However  strong  may  be  the  hereditary  sexual  instincts  which 
an  individual  has  inherited  by  phylogeny  from  his  ancestors, 
and  however  violent  their  internal  outbreaks  in  his  ontogeny, 
it  is  necessary  to  recognize  that  an  organism  so  complicated  as 
that  of  man  is  capable  of  adapting  itself  to  its  environment  to  a 
remarkable  and  varied  degree,  and  that  consequently  external 
influences  react  strongly  on  the  sexual  appetite.  We  will  now 
examine  these  influences,  so  far  as  they  are  not  dealt  with  in 
other  chapters. 

Influence  of  Climate. — Warm  climates  appear  to  excite  the 
intensity  of  sexual  life;  man  matures  more  quickly  and  is  more 
disposed  to  sexual  excess.  I  am  not  aware  of  other  influences 
that  can  be  attributed  to  climate.  It  is,  moreover,  possible  that 
the  direct  influence  of  heat  has  been  confounded  with  the  indirect 
action  it  exerts  in  the  conditions  of  human  existence.  In  cold 
countries  life  is  more  laborious,  and  this  diminishes  the  inten- 
sity of  the  sexual  appetite.  In  warm  countries  man  has  not  so 
much  concern  with  dweUings,  clothes  and  heating;  life  is  greatly 
simplified,  and  this  freedom  from  anxiety  inclines  him  to  greater 
sexual  activity. 

Town  and  Country.  Isolation.  Sociability.  Life  in  Factories. 
— The  social  relations  of  man  exert  a  great  influence  on  sexual 
life.  Hermits  and  those  who  live  on  isolated  farms  are  interest- 
ing in  this  respect.  Solitude  generally  leads  man  to  chronic 
melancholia  and  to  abnormal  peculiarities,  unless  he  has  a  library 
in  his  hermitage,  when  he  may  live  in  the  spirit  of  the  intellectual 
sociability  derived  from  the  study  of  books. 

It  is  quite  otherwise  with  one  who  has  no  intellectual  occupa- 
tion, or  one  who  has  lived  in  solitude  from  infancy.  In  this  case 
the  hermit  becomes  a  kind  of  savage,  without  any  intellectual 

326 


INFLUENCE  OF  ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LITE  327 

development,  and  reverts  more  or  less  to  the  state  of  primitive 
man. 

An  adult  who  establishes  himself  in  solitude  without  providing 
himself  with  intellectual  capital  becomes  strongly  inclined  to 
depressing  psychoses.  This  is  observed  among  the  isolated  farm- 
ers, according  to  Professor  Seguin,  of  New  York.  The  man  who 
lives  alone,  or  surrounded  only  by  the  members  of  his  family 
becomes  disposed  to  certain  sexual  anomahes,  such  as  incest, 
sodomy  and  masturbation. 

It  is  among  the  agricultural  population  that  we  meet  with 
the  most  normal  sexual  relations  and  the  best  hygiene.  The 
French  Canadians  form  a  good  example,  and  it  is  the  same  gen- 
erally where  agriculture  is  practiced  by  independent  peasants, 
not  alcoholized,  and  having  divided  property.  Agricultural 
families  generally  procreate  more  children  and  healthier  ones 
than  urban  families.  No  doubt  modern  medical  hygiene,  both 
public  and  private,  has  made  so  much  progress  in  towTis  that 
there  may  be,  at  a  certain  age,  proportionally  more  living  chil- 
dren than  in  the  country;  but  the  country  children  are  of 
stronger  constitution  and  more  healthy  in  every  way. 

I  had  the  opportunity  of  confirming  this  opinion  wliile  I  was 
superintendent  of  a  lunatic  asylum  for  many  years.  I  found 
it  was  impossible  to  recruit  from  the  town  a  good  staff  of  nurses 
of  either  sex. 

The  inhabitant  of  towms,  it  is  true,  learns  his  work  more 
quickly,  but  he  lacks  patience,  perseverance  and  character,  and 
soon  shows  himself  wanting  in  the  accomplishment  of  his  physi- 
cal and  moral  duties.  The  countryman,  on  the  contrary,  is  at 
first  slow  and  clumsy,  but  soon  becomes  more  capable  and  care- 
ful, and  more  amenable  to  education.  This  shows  that,  on  the 
average,  the  hereditary  dispositions  of  the  country-bred  child 
are  better  than  those  of  the  town-bred  child.  The  latter  de- 
velops more  rapidly  and  more  completely  his  natural  disposi- 
tions, owing  to  social  intercourse,  while  the  country-bred  child, 
although  he  appears  at  first  sight  less  intelhgent,  is  really  better 
endowed  on  the  average  than  the  town  child.  The  superficial 
observer  is  easily  deceived,  but  country  life  accumulates  more 
reserve  force  in  the  organism  than  urban  life. 


328  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Sexual  excesses  in  the  country  are  more  conformable  to 
nature.  Apart  from  marriage,  we  meet  with  concubinage,  infi- 
delity, and  sometimes  prostitution,  but  these  excesses  are  never 
widely  spread  in  small  places  where  every  one  knows  each  other. 
An  extensive  study  of  the  alcohol  question  has  shown  me  that 
hereditary  degenerations  and  sexual  evils  in  the  country  are 
principally  due  to  alcoholism  and  its  blastophthoria  (vide  Chap- 
ter I).  But  when  factories,  mining  industries,  etc.,  create 
unhealthy  conditions  in  the  country,  the  evil  influences  of  urban 
life  are  implanted  there,  often  in  a  still  higher  degree. 

The  society  of  large  towns  is  made  up  of  many  different  cir- 
cles, who  have  little  or  no  relations  with  each  other,  do  not  know 
each  other,  and  seldom  concern  themselves  about  each  other. 
The  individual  is  only  known  in  his  own  circle.  This  circum- 
stance favors  the  increase  of  vice  and  depravity.  In  addition 
to  this,  the  insanitary  dwelhngs,  the  life  of  excitement  and  in- 
numerable pleasures,  all  tend  to  produce  a  restless  and  unnatural 
existence.  The  best  conditions  of  existence  for  man  are  con- 
tact with  nature,  air  and  Hght,  sufficient  physical  exercise  com- 
bined with  steady  work  for  the  brain,  which  requires  exercise 
as  much  as  the  other  organs;  this  is  just  what  is  wanting  among 
the  poor,  in  the  town  and  in  the  factory.  Instead  of  this  they 
are  offered  unhealthy  nocturnal  pleasures  and  a  prostitution 
which  spreads  itself  everywhere  with  all  the  dangerous  effects 
we  have  described.  The  result  is  that  they  become  incapable 
of  nourishing  and  raising  their  children  properly,  often  even  of 
procreating  them  in  healthy  and  natural  love. 

Such  are  the  conditions  of  the  lower  classes  in  large  towns. 
Along  with  prostitution,  venereal  disease  and  alcohol,  the 
wretched  dwellings  in  many  places  lead  to  infamous  promiscuity. 
In  factories  and  mines  things  are  still  worse.  In  these  places 
there  is  a  swarm  of  people  continually  engaged  in  most  unhealthy 
occupations,  and  only  leaving  their  work  to  indulge  in  the  most 
repugnant  sexual  excesses.  The  rapacity,  frivolity  and  luxury 
of  society  lead  to  alcoholism,  poverty,  promiscuity  and  prostitu- 
tion among  the  lower  classes  and  cause  complete  degeneration 
of  entire  industrial  populations. 

In  the  Canton  of  Zurich  I  have  had  the  opportunity  of  closely 


INFLUENCE  OF   ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LIFE  329 

observing  the  physical  and  moral  effects  of  this  degeneration. 
The  individuals  most  incapable  as  hospital  attendants  were 
always  factory  hands.  These  wretched  beings  were  generally 
so  atrophied  in  body  and  mind  that  they  were  no  use  for  any- 
thing except  the  weaving  of  silk  and  cotton.  In  the  large 
English  towns,  such  as  Liverpool,  and  among  the  population  of 
certain  mining  districts  in  Belgium,  I  have  met  with  even  worse 
degeneration  of  the  human  species.  Modesty,  morality  and 
health  are  destroyed  in  this  swarming  human  mass — dirty, 
anaemic,  tuberculous,  rickety,  imbecile,  or  hysterical — and 
there  is  no  distinction  between  the  factory  girl  and  the  prosti- 
tute. In  certain  Belgian  districts  which  are  a  prey  to  alcoholism, 
one  sometimes  sees  human  beings  copulating  in  the  streets  like 
animals,  or  like  the  drunken  Kafhrs  in  South  Africa.  What  can 
we  expect  from  the  descendants  of  a  population  so  completely 
degenerate?  Marriage  and  even  concubinage  among  peasants 
is  golden  in  comparison! 

I  will  now  draw  attention  to  a  contemporary  phenomenon  of 
the  greatest  interest.  The  immense  development  of  means  of 
transport,  combined  with  progress  in  the  sanitation  of  dwellings, 
favors  the  transportation  of  town  to  country  and  country  to 
town.  This  brings  together  the  two  modes  of  human  life,  and 
in  this  I  see  the  dawn  of  salvation  in  the  future.  The  modern 
towns  of  North  America,  thanks  to  the  great  extension  of  their 
territory,  already  resemble  the  country  to  a  great  extent,  each 
house  being  surrounded  by  a  garden.  The  electric  tramways 
shorten  distances  and  facilitate  this  manner  of  building  towns. 
As  means  of  communication  become  still  more  simphfied  and 
cheapened,  the  advantages  of  country  Ufe  will  be  joined  to  those 
of  the  town  without  suffering  from  the  promiscuity  of  the  latter. 
The  disadvantages  of  country  life  consist  in  atrophy  of  the  intel- 
lectual dispositions  from  want  of  contact;  improvement  in 
means  of  transport  will  bring  this  contact  to  the  country.  The 
result  of  such  distribution  of  the  territory  of  a  civilized  state, 
such  as  I  have  in  view,  might  be  called  an  Agropolis—Sin  urban- 
ized country  or  a  countrified  town.  It  would  then  be  possible 
to  live  a  life  more  ideal  in  human  sentiments,  and  healthier  as 
regards  material  and  sexual  matters. 


330  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

The  state  of  the  countryman  or  peasant  is  advantageous  for 
marriage,  not  only  because  it  does  not  offer  such  a  suitable  soil 
for  prostitution,  but  because  the  danger  of  venereal  disease  is 
diminished,  and  the  procreation  of  healthy  offspring  favors  con- 
jugal happiness  and  constancy  in  sexual  union.  From  the  reli- 
gious point  of  view,  the  freedom  in  sexual  intercourse  which 
prevails  among  country  people  before  marriage  is  looked  upon 
as  immoral;  but  this  is  a  natural  phenomenon  similar  to  the 
"marriage  by  trial"  of  certain  savage  races,  or  the  "hand- 
fasting"  of  the  Scotch  people,  of  which  we  have  spoken  in  Chap- 
ter VI.  People  who  tolerate  and  defend  prostitution  should  be 
ashamed  of  their  hypocrisy  and  of  the  manner  in  which  they 
distort  morality,  when  in  the  same  breath  they  reproach  peas- 
ants with  their  natural  but  illegitimate  unions. 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  other  causes  of  degeneration  may 
exist  in  the  country  as  well  as  in  towns;  for  instance,  certain 
endemic  diseases,  such  as  myxoedema  and  malaria,  the  brutish 
life  of  certain  tribes,  perpetuation  of  degeneracy  by  consan- 
guineous unions,  etc. 

The  worst  state  is  certainly  that  of  the  proletariat  of  large 
towns,  which  is  generally  associated  with  crime.  In  the  com- 
munity of  pimps,  criminals  and  decadents  in  general,  is  consti- 
tuted a  special  social  outlook,  which  regards  the  greatest  scamp 
in  the  light  of  a  hero.  When  a  child  shows  a  precocious  criminal 
disposition  it  is  looked  upon  in  these  circles  as  a  child  of  much 
promise.  Honest  and  virtuous  children  are  considered  in  this 
society  as  imbeciles,  or  even  as  traitors  and  spies,  and  are  con- 
sequently despised,  hated  and  ill-treated.  The  deleterious  in- 
fluences we  have  mentioned  do  not  act  alone,  but  are  often  asso- 
ciated with  other  factors  in  causing  degeneration  of  the  sexual 
life.  When  other  influences  preponderate,  we  may  sometimes 
observe  depravity  in  the  country,  and  on  the  contrary,  healthy 
and  normal  conditions  in  certain  towns.  We  must  always  avoid 
exaggerating  the  importance  of  a  single  factor  in  making 
generalizations.  Certain  country  villages,  the  inhabitants  of 
which  have  become  alcoholized  and  degraded,  may  present 
a  much  more  unhealthy  sexual  life  than  certain  sober  and 
well-governed  towns. 


INFLUENCE  OF  ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LIFE  331 

Vagabondage.— In  the  Archiv  filr  Rassen  und  Gesellschafts 
hiologie  of  1905  (Ai'chives  of  the  biology  of  races  and  of  society), 
Doctor  Jorger  relates  the  history  of  the  descendants  of  a  couple 
of  vagabonds,  which  he  carefully  studied  for  several  genera- 
tions. Nearly  all  the  members  of  this  family  became  vagabonds, 
thieves,  prostitutes,  and  other  society  pests.  Vain  attempts 
were  made  to  give  a  good  education  to  some  of  them,  but  they 
ran  away  from  school  to  lead  the  lives  of  vagabonds  or  criminals. 
In  a  few  of  them  only,  education  gave  some  results,  but  not  at 
all  brilhant.  In  this  family,  alcohoHsm  and  its  blastophthoria 
played  a  considerable  part. 

We  can  hardly  admit  that  the  mnemic  phenomena  explained 
in  Chapter  I  could  have  acted  appreciably  in  two  or  three  hun- 
dred years,  a  period  much  too  short  for  the  human  species.  No 
doubt  the  common  ancestor  of  the  above  family  of  vagabonds 
descended  from  a  family  of  vagabonds.  I  do  not,  however, 
think  I  am  wi'ong  in  attributing  to  blastophthoria,  superposed 
on  the  disastrous  combinations  of  germs  which  is  inevitable  in 
the  life  of  vagabonds,  the  principal  cause  of  this  typical  degenera- 
tion of  the  family,  a  degeneration  in  which  sexual  degradation 
strongly  predominates,  I  recommend  Doctor  Jorger's  work  to 
any  one  interested  in  this  question.  It  would  be  useful  to  draw 
up  genealogical  tables,  with  the  medical  and  psychological 
descriptions  of  the  whole  population  of  a  small  town. 

Americanism. — By  this  term  I  designate  an  unhealthy  fea- 
ture of  sexual  life,  common  among  the  educated  classes  of  the 
United  States,  and  apparently  originating  in  the  gi'eed  for 
dollars,  which  is  more  prevalent  in  North  America  than  any- 
where else.  I  refer  to  the  unnatural  hfe  which  Americans  lead, 
and  more  especially  to  its  sexual  aspect. 

The  true  American  citizen  despises  agi'icultural  work  and 
manual  labor  in  general,  especially  for  women.  His  aim  is  to 
centralize  labor  by  means  of  machinery  and  commerce,  so  as  to 
concern  himself  only  with  business,  intellectual  occupations  and 
sport.  American  women  consider  muscular  work  and  labor  in 
the  country  as  degrading  to  their  sex.  This  is  a  relic  of  the  days 
of  slavery,  when  all  manual  labor  was  left  to  negroes,  and  is  so 
to  a  great  extent  at  the  present  day. 


332  THE   SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Desirous  of  remaining  young  and  fresh  as  long  as  possible, 
fearing  the  dangers  and  troubles  of  childbirth  and  the  bringing- 
up  of  children,  the  American  woman  has  an  increasing  aversion 
to  pregnancy,  childbirth,  suckling  and  the  rearing  of  large 
families. 

Since  the  emancipation  of  negroes  has  caused  doi^jestic  ser- 
vants in  the  United  States  to  become  expensive  luxuries,  family 
life  has  been  to  a  great  extent  replaced  by  life  in  hotels  and 
boarding-houses,  and  this  has  furnished  another  reason  for  avoid- 
ing conception  and  large  families. 

It  is  evident  that  this  form  of  emancipation  of  women  is  abso- 
lutely deleterious  and  that  it  leads  to  degeneration,  if  not  to 
extinction  of  the  race.  The  mixed  Aiyan  (European)  race  of 
North  America  will  diminish  and  become  gradually  extinguished, 
even  without  emigration,  and  will  soon  be  replaced  by  Chinese 
or  negroes.  It  is  necessary  for  woman  to  labor  as  well  as 
man,  and  she  ought  not  to  avoid  the  fulfillment  of  her  natural 
position.  Eveiy  race  which  does  not  understand  this  necessity 
ends  in  extinction.  A  woman's  ideal  ought  not  to  consist  in 
reading  novels  and  lolling  in  rocking  chairs,  nor  in  working  only 
in  offices  and  shops,  so  as  to  preserve  her  delicate  skin  and  gi'ace- 
ful  figure.  She  ought  to  develop  herself  strongly  and  healthily 
by  working  along  with  man  in  body  and  mind,  and  by  procreat- 
ing numerous  children,  when  she  is  strong,  robust  and  intelli- 
gent. But  this  does  not  nullify  the  advantage  that  may 
accrue  from  limiting  the  number  of  conceptions,  when  the 
bodily  and  mental  qualities  are  wanting  in  the  procreators. 

Saloons  and  Alcohol. — I  desire  to  draw  attention  once  more 
to  the  evil  influence  of  saloons  and  bars.  The  drink  habit  cor- 
rupts the  whole  of  sexual  life.  It  is  the  origin  of  the  most  hid- 
eous forms  of  prostitution  and  proxenetism,  and  leads  to  the  se- 
duction of  girls.  I  must  mention  again  the  barmaids  whose 
business  it  is  to  attract  customers  by  exciting  their  sexual 
desire,  at  the  same  time  exploiting  themselves  by  prostitution. 
These  saloons  are  dens  of  iniquity  in  which  alcohol  and  prosti- 
tution are  inextricably  confounded.  In  Germany  they  have 
become  a  veritable  social  plague. 

Drink  makes  men  and  women  not  only  gross  and  sensual,  but 


INFLUENCE  OF   ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LIFE  333 

also  negligent,  imprudent  and  irreflective.  The  saloon  takes 
men  from  their  homes,  and  drink  directly  diminishes  the  popu- 
lation. This  is  seen  in  Russia  by  comparing  the  abstainers  with 
the  drinkers,  the  former  being  much  more  fecund.  The  sta- 
tistics of  Doctor  Bezzola  show  that  a  single  drinking  bout  may 
have  a  blastophthoric  effect.  From  this  and  from  other  causes 
result  the  deplorable  consequences  of  coitus  which  takes  place 
during  drunkenness.* 

Wealth  and  Poverty. — While  in  former  civihzations  the  rich 
man  regarded  a  multiplicity  of  wives  and  children  as  a  condition 
or  cause  of  his  wealth  and  also  as  its  result,  in  our  modern  civili- 
zation the  number  of  children  diminishes  with  the  increase  of 
prosperity.  Children  have  ceased  to  be  as  formerly  a  source  of 
wealth;  on  the  contrary,  they  occasion  much  expense  for  their 
education.  Again,  the  higher  the  social  position  of  woman  the 
more  she  fears  pregnancy.  Her  life  of  ease  makes  her  weaker 
and  more  delicate,  so  that  she  becomes  less  fit  for  the  procreation 
of  children.  This  phenomenon  is  an  unhealthy  product  of  cul- 
ture and  reaches  a  truly  pathological  degree  in  America. 

We  have  mentioned  marriage  for  money,  which  is  the  prosti- 
tution of  the  rich,  and  poverty,  which  is  one  of  the  causes  of 
common  prostitution,  and  we  have  seen  how  money  influences 
sexual  intercourse.  We  may  now  state  the  general  principle  that 
a  mediocrity  living  in  comfortable  circumstances  without  imme- 
diate daily  wants,  under  good  hygienic  conditions,  but  requiring 
a  man  to  work  for  his  living,  constitutes  the  best  condition 
both  for  a  healthy  sexual  life  and  for  health  and  happiness  in 
general.  This  is  the  aurea  mediocritas,  or  modest  competence, 
the  excellence  of  which  was  recognized  by  the  ancients. 

The  sexuahty  of  the  rich  man  degenerates  by  luxury,  com- 
fort, excess  and  idleness,  and  by  the  fact  that  he  is  already 
satiated  in  his  youth.  That  of  the  poor  man  is  no  less  degen- 
erate, owing  to  bad  food,  unhealthy  dwellings,  neglected  educa- 
tion, and  by  vicious  example  which  at  the  opposite  extreme, 
resembles  in  many  points  that  of  the  rich  man;  the  exploiter 
and  the  exploited  meeting  in  the  dens  of  vice.    Such  is  the  case 

*Vide  "Alkoholvergiftung  und  Degeneration"  by  Bunge:  Leipzig  1904; 
and  "  Hygiene  of  the  Nerves  and  Mind  "  by  Forel:  Stuttgart  1905. 


334  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

with  gambling  hells,  with  dens  for  prostitution  and  sexual 
anomalies,  where  the  poor  blackmail  the  rich,  while  the  latter 
in  theh  capacity  as  social  exploiters  help  to  maintain  poverty 
and  prostitution. 

Money  makes  sexual  intercourse  unnatural ;  in  place  of  letting 
coitus  take  its  natural  course,  it  makes  it  an  object  of  amuse- 
ment and  pleasure,  and  also  of  speculation,  and  it  debases  the 
bodies  of  wTetched  girls  by  making  them  objects  of  commerce. 

Unfortunately,  the  increasing  facility  of  obtaining  money 
without  working  for  it,  due  to  civihzation,  not  only  corrupts  the 
sexual  Ufe  of  the  wealthy  and  the  poverty  stricken,  but  has  the 
same  effect  on  the  middle  classes.  A  healthy  and  normal  sexual 
life  must  be  associated  wdth  honest  and  arduous  work.  We  have 
already  remarked  that  the  solution  of  the  sexual  question  de- 
pends partly  on  the  suppression  of  alcoholic  drink.  We  may 
add  that  another  side  of  the  question  depends  on  the  extirpation 
of  the  greed  for  money.  If  human  beings  could  work  for  the 
social  welfare  without  private  interest,  sexual  relations  would 
soon  take  their  natural  course.  But  it  must  be  admitted  that 
it  is  difficult  to  find  a  practical  solution  for  the  problem  of  social 
economy. 

Rank  and  Social  Position. — Class  distinction  and  social  posi- 
tion have  always  played  a  part  in  sexual  life.  This  is  especially 
the  case  where  certain  class  customs  and  prejudices  prescribe 
a  special  code  for  marriage.  The  consanguinity  of  the  nobifity 
and  of  royal  famihes,  who  can  only  marry  among  themselves, 
has  resulted  in  obvious  degeneration.  Originally  there  was  the 
desire  to  preserve  the  purity  of  noble  blood,  and  rules  formu- 
lated with  this  object  at  first  had  some  success;  but  in  the  long 
run  the  exclusiveness  of  such  selection  produces  degeneration  of 
the  group  which  puts  it  into  practice. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  severe  rules  which  govern  marriages 
among  the  nobility  have  resulted  in  driving  the  latter  to  extra- 
nuptial  sexual  intercourse.  In  their  sexual  excesses,  the  nobil- 
ity, and  even  crowned  heads,  seldom  amuse  themselves  with 
honest  and  \irtuous  girls  of  the  working  classes,  but  more  gen- 
erally with  actresses  of  loose  morals,  dancing  girls,  and  hysterical 
sirens  and  adventuresses  of  aU  kinds,  so  long  as  they  are  pretty. 


INFLUENCE  OF   ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LIFE  335 

Since  the  time  of  the  feudal  system,  the  nobility,  having  lost  its 
real  reason  for  existence,  only  lives  on  its  traditions.  It  re- 
mains in  general  in  a  state  of  idle  depravity,  faithful  to  its  old 
traditions,  except  when  it  has  succeeded  in  adapting  itseK  to 
the  work  of  modern  hfe.  It  has,  in  fact,  preserved  the  vices  of 
its  ancestors  rather  than  their  virtues. 

The  more  than  doubtful  offspring  of  extra-nuptial  intercourse 
among  the  nobihty  have  often  been  adopted  or  raised  to  the 
nobility.  Moreover,  kings  and  princes  have  often  ennobled 
unworthy  persons  who  had  succeeded  in  pandering  to  their 
follies  or  exciting  their  sexual  passions.  It  is,  therefore,  not  to 
be  wondered  at  if  in  the  offspring  of  such  unions,  the  blood  of 
the  highest  nobility  is  tainted  with  that  of  the  worst  kinds  of 
heredity. 

Another  sign  or  effect  of  the  degeneration  of  the  nobility  is 
found  in  the  marriages  they  so  often  contract  with  wealthy 
heiresses,  often  of  mediocre  quality,  in  order  to  repair  their 
escutcheon.  In  the  Middle  Ages,  the  nobility  regarded  it  as 
degrading  to  work  for  their  living,  and  this  prejudice  accelerated 
their  degeneration;  for  nowadays  the  heroic  and  chivalrous 
deeds  of  the  Middle  Ages  have  little  opportunity  for  their  per- 
formance. 

Other  social  classes  present  certain  sexual  peculiarities;  for 
example  the  disastrous  consequences  of  celibacy  among  the 
Catholic  priests.  This  excludes  an  important  and  intelligent 
portion  of  the  species  from  reproduction,  and  also  favors  clan- 
destine debauchery. 

The  army  and  navy  also  exert  a  detrimental  action  on  sexual 
life.  First  of  all  they  foster  one  of  the  lowest  forms  of  prosti- 
tution; soldiers'  women  are  proverbial,  and  one  of  them  alone 
may  infect  a  whole  regiment.  In  the  second  place,  the  absence 
of  normal  sexual  intercourse  favors  all  kinds  of  perversion,  such 
as  pederasty,  masturbation,  etc.  The  abominable  sexual  hfe  of 
soldiers  and  sailors  corrupts  them  to  such  an  extent  that  when 
they  marry  later  on  they  come  to  their  wives  with  filthy  habits, 
to  say  nothing  of  syphilis  and  gonorrhea.  The  result  is  the 
procreation  of  offspring  who  are  more  or  less  tainted  in  body 
and  mind  by  the  effects  of  venereal  disease  combined  with 


336  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

alcohol.  We  have  already  mentioned  the  rules  which  forbid 
German  officers  to  marry  a  woman  unless  she  possesses  a  certain 
fortune. 

In  the  Norwegian  mercantile  marine  the  customs  contrast 
happily  mth  those  we  have  just  mentioned,  and  permit  officers 
to  live  on  board  with  their  mves.  In  all  respects  the  Norwegian 
serves  as  a  model  in  the  sexual  question;  does  he  not  favor  con- 
jugal life  by  only  charging  half-price  on  the  boats  for  women 
who  travel  with  their  husbands! 

Other  classes  have  a  less  obvious  influence  on  sexual  life. 
On  the  whole,  however,  all  sexual  isolation  of  castes  has  an 
unfavorable  influence.  WTierever  the  prejudices  of  a  caste 
compel  its  members  to  intermarry,  certain  special  degenerations 
are  produced.  Good  quality  in  man  is  not  derived  from  class 
or  position,  but  from  true  innate  or  hereditary  nobility  of  char- 
acter, and  this  alone  should  be  the  object  of  positive  selection, 
without  any  distinction  of  classes. 

Individual  Life. — There  is  no  doubt  that  the  mode  of  life  of 
the  individual  exerts  an  influence  on  his  sexual  life.  High  living 
combined  with  little  bodily  exercise  generally  increases  the  sex- 
ual appetite,  while  insufficient  food  combined  with  severe  mus- 
cular work  diminishes  it. 

Intellectual  work  acts  in  a  variable  manner.  A  distinguished 
psychologist  assured  me  that  intense  intellectual  work  excited 
his  sexual  appetite;  others  have  said  the  opposite.  As  a  rule, 
a  sedentary  life  increases  the  sexual  appetite ;  a  life  full  of  occu- 
pation and  muscular  activity  diminishes  it.  But  the  question 
is  complicated  by  other  influences. 

Alcohol  diminishes  sexual  power,  while  exalting  desire  or  even 
perverting  it.  The  artificial  excitants  of  the  sexual  appetite, 
cultivated  by  modern  civilization  by  interested  speculation,  act 
in  rather  a  different  way.  Erotic  pictures,  obscene  novels  and 
dramas,  etc.,  constitute  an  unhealthy  medium  in  our  centers  of 
civilization,  which  overexcites  and  corrupts  the  sexual  appetite. 
The  more  delicate  and  poisonous  the  perfume  of  this  atmosphere 
and  the  more  aesthetic  the  refinement  by  which  it  titillates  the 
senses,  the  greater  is  its  destructive  action. 

The  question  of  the  reunion  or  separation  of  the  sexes  plays  an 


INFLUENCE   OF   ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LIFE  337 

important  part.  Life  in  common  among  girls  and  boys  from 
infancy  usually  diminishes  sexual  excitation,  in  the  same  way 
as  among  brothers  and  sisters.  We  find  something  analogous  in 
different  branches  of  human  activity  where  the  two  sexes  live 
together;  for  instance,  at  college,  in  the  fields,  and  in  general 
where  work  and  play  is  common  to  both  sexes. 

There  are,  however,  certain  exceptions  to  this  rule,  which  must 
not  be  taken  too  generally.  Under  certain  circumstances,  life 
in  common  of  the  two  sexes  leads  to  unfavorable  and  even 
perverted  sexual  excitation.  This  is  especially  the  case  when 
alcohol  adds  its  influence;  also  among  nervous  or  ill-balanced 
individuals.  In  my  opinion  it  is  absolutely  unreasonable  for 
the  superintendent  of  a  lunatic  asylum  to  organize  balls  at  which 
the  insane  of  both  sexes  are  provided  with  beer  or  wine.  I  have 
only  seen  bad  results  from  this,  while  I  have  obtained  excellent 
effects  from  a  temporary  reunion  of  the  insane  of  both  sexes,  by 
avoiding  all  alcoholic  drinks  as  well  as  everything  which  could 
excite  the  sexual  appetite,  such  as  dancing,  or  the  bringing  to- 
gether of  erotic  or  perverted  individuals.  A  young  female 
onanist  who  suffered  from  sexual  excitement  complicated  mth 
a  nervous  condition,  complained  to  me  of  being  obliged  to  work 
as  a  telegraphist  among  young  men,  as  this  continually  excited 
her  eroticism  without  the  possibility  of  satisfying  it. 

This  situation,  which  is  a  common  one  in  both  sexes,  gives  us 
a  valuable  indication.  No  doubt  life  in  common  for  the  two 
sexes  is  normal  and  natural,  but  only  on  the  condition  that  it 
leads  eventually  to  normal  sexual  intercourse  as  the  result  of 
love.  It  is  neither  healthy  nor  normal  to  excite  an  appetite 
continually  without  satisfying  it.  Any  one  who  wishes  to  live 
a  continent  life,  for  religious  or  other  reasons,  ought  not  to 
expose  himself  to  continual  excitement  by  too  great  intimacy 
with  the  opposite  sex;  he  should,  on  the  contrary,  avoid  every- 
thing which  tends  to  excite  his  sexual  appetite  and  seek  every- 
thing which  tends  to  pacify  it.  I  am  not  referring  here  to 
individuals  of  a  naturally  cold  and  indifTerent  nature,  who  run 
little  or  no  risk  under  such  circumstances. 

Certain  occupations,  such  as  those  of  employees  in  stores,  tele- 
graph offices,  etc.,  in  which  the  two  sexes  are  closely  associated 


338  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION  _ 

in  their  work,  constitute  from  this  point  of  view  a  double-edged  ' 
sword.  Other  unhealthy  and  monotonous  occupations,  com- 
bined with  bad  conditions  of  food  and  lodging,  and  with  all  kinds 
of  seduction — factory  hands  for  example — have  a  positively 
deleterious  effect  on  sexual  life,  which  becomes  absolutely  de- 
praved when  the  two  sexes  work  together.  The  situation  is  hardly 
any  better  when  they  are  only  separated  during  working  hours. 

Intemats. — All  internats,  i.e.,  all  establishments  where  indi- 
viduals of  the  same  sex  hve  in  the  same  dwelhng  for  a  long 
time,  exert  a  peculiar  influence  on  sexual  life — schools  and  con- 
vents, for  example. 

The  gi'eat  inconvenience  of  all  these  establishments  lies  in  the 
danger  of  contamination  from  habits  of  onanism  or  pederasty. 
Inverts  are  strongly  attracted  towards  internats,  where  they 
find  their  heart's  desire  where  they  can  easily  indulge  their  per- 
verted passions;  the  dormitory  of  such  an  institution  having 
the  same  effect  on  them  as  that  of  a  girl's  school  would  have  on 
a  young  man.     (Vide  Chapter  VIII.) 

This  is  a  matter  which  has  not  received  sufficient  attention 
in  organizing  boarding-schools  for  boys  and  girls,  because  it  was 
not  known  that  homosexual  instincts  are  hereditary  and  innate. 
Such  cases  were  regarded  only  as  acquired  bad  habits. 

Lunatic  asylums  are  especially  attractive  to  sexual  inverts, 
who  apply  for  the  positions  of  attendants  or  nurse  so  as  to  be 
able  to  indulge  their  passions  on  the  insane  patients,  who  are 
incapable  of  betraying  them. 

Without  being  homosexual,  nor  even  seduced  by  inverts, 
many  normal  but  erotic  individuals  try  to  satisfy  their  sexual 
appetite  on  their  companions — boys  by  pederasty,  girls  by  les- 
bian love,  and  both  sexes  by  mutual  onanism. 

The  chief  danger  is  that  of  some  sexually  perverted  individual 
gaining  entiy  to  a  boarding-school  and  contaminating  numbers 
of  normal  individuals,  without  anytliing  being  discovered; 
because  it  is  much  more  difficult  to  supervise  a  school  than  a 
family.  This  could  be  remedied  better  by  confidence  between 
masters  and  pupils  than  by  super\dsion. 

Varia. — I  should  never  finish  if  I  attempted  to  describe  all 
the  influences  of  environment.     The  examples  mentioned  will 


INFLUENCE  OF   ENVIRONMENT  ON  SEXUAL  LIFE  339 

suffice  to  show  that,  in  a  natural  appetite  such  as  the  sexual,  the 
two  extremes  of  asceticism  and  excess  lead  to  evil  and  unnatural 
aberrations,  and  that  the  important  point  is  to  find  or  create  a 
healthy  environment  for  a  healthy  sexual  life. 

We  hear  a  good  deal  about  good  or  bad  luck  or  chance  in  the 
matter  of  love.  I  do  not  deny  that  fortuitous  circumstances 
often  determine  the  happiness  of  an  individual  in  his  love  affairs. 
But  it  is  all  the  more  deplorable  that  what  is  called  the  good 
maimers  of  society  make  it  so  difficult  to  correct  Cupid's  blun- 
ders. There  is  room  for  improvement  in  this  direction,  and 
many  spoilt  lives  and  much  unhappiness  might  be  avoided. 
The  unfavorable  influence  of  environment  might  often  be  cor- 
rected by  separation  or  change,  if  this  could  be  done  in  time. 


CHAPTER   XII 

RELIGION   AND    SEXUAL   LIFE 

Transformation  of  Profane  Customs  into  Religious  Dogmas. — 

Ethnography  has  taught  us  that  in  the  course  of  time  human 
tribes  often  unconsciously  transform  profane  customs  into  inte- 
gral parts  of  their  rehgion,  either  by  attributing  them  to  a 
divine  origin,  or  by  elevating  them  to  the  rank  of  command- 
ments of  the  gods,  or  by  connecting  them  with  other  dogmas, 
combining  them  with  worship,  etc. 

Sexual  connection  plays  an  important  part  in  this  matter.  A 
great  number  of  religious  rites  and  customs  are  nothing  else  than 
the  customs  of  sexual  life  (taken  in  its  widest  sense)  which  have 
been  symbolized;  inversely,  a  number  of  dogmas  have  for  their 
only  motive  the  application  of  a  religious  basis  to  sexual  cus- 
toms, which  gives  them  more  authority. 

The  religious  rites  react  powerfully  on  the  sexual  life  and  on 
the  way  in  which  the  members  of  the  tribe  or  people  understand 
it.    We  will  give  a  few  striking  examples. 

We  have  seen  in  Chapter  VI  that  polygamy  depends  first  on 
the  idea  of  ownership,  and  secondly  on  marriage  by  purchase,  to 
which  it  owes  its  historic  origin.  But  the  fact  that  Islamism 
and  Mormonism,  for  example,  have  made  polygamy  an  integral 
part  of  their  religious  dogmas,  has  given  to  the  whole  organiza- 
tion of  the  Mahometans  and  Mormons,  as  well  as  to  their  point 
of  view  of  existence,  a  particular  direction  which  cannot  be 
ignored.  In  reality,  we  are  just  as  polygamous  as  they  are, 
but  our  theoretical  and  religious  sexual  morality  is  monogamous 
while  theirs  is  polygamous,  each  based  on  contradictory  "divine 
commandments." 

Among  certain  Buddhists,  the  wife  is  compelled  to  follow  her 
husband  to  the  grave,  which  naturally  influences  sexual  life 
profoundly. 

340 


RELIGION   AND   SEXUAL   LIFE  341 

Among  many  savage  races  there  exists  matriarchism,  which 
gives  the  woman  a  high  social  position.  This  has  even  been 
made  a  rehgious  dogma,  while  it  simply  originates  from  the 
natural  and  just  idea  that  the  mother  is  much  more  intimately 
connected  with  the  children  than  the  father. 

The  duty  imposed  on  men  to  marry  the  widow  of  their  brother 
originated  from  a  profane  command  intended  to  regulate  unions; 
eventually  this  was  made  a  religious  dogma.  In  the  same  way 
circumcision  among  the  Jews  had  its  origin  in  a  hygienic  custom 
having  no  relation  to  religious  faith.  This  did  not  prevent  it 
becoming  later  on  as  important  a  custom  as  baptism  in  Chris- 
tianity. For  the  Jewish  people  it  has  the  advantage  of  pro- 
tecting them  to  a  great  extent  from  Venereal  infection,  and 
against  one  of  the  chief  causes  of  masturbation. 

Catholicism. — We  have  already  spoken  of  the  celibacy  of  the 
Catholic  priests  and  of  its  lay  origin.  The  Catholic  religion  also 
contains  a  series  of  detailed  precepts  concerning  sexual  connec- 
tion in  general  and  marriage  in  particular;  precepts  which  were 
only  gradually  transformed  into  religious  dogmas.  As  they 
determine  to  a  great  extent  opinions  and  manners  in  the  sexual 
domain,  they  exert  a  considerable  social  influence. 

The  absolute  interdiction  of  divorce  among  the  Catholics 
(man  has  not  the  right  to  separate  those  whom  God  has  joined 
together)  seals  forever  the  most  unfortunate  unions  and  leads 
to  misfortunes  of  all  kinds,  separation  of  the  married  couple, 
liaisons  apart  from  marriage,  etc.  According  to  Liguori,  the 
Catholic  Church  prescribes  a  number  of  details  concerning  sexual 
relations  in  marriage.  The  woman  who,  during  coitus  places 
herself  upon  the  man  instead  of  under  him,  commits  a  sin.  The 
position  and  manner  of  performing  coitus  are  prescribed  in  the 
most  minute  details,  and  the  holy  fathers  make  the  woman  play 
a  part  unworthy  of  her  position  as  wife,  while  according  the  man 
the  widest  liberty. 

In  truly  Catholic  marriage  it  is  prescribed  to  procreate  as 
many  children  as  possible,  and  all  preventive  measures  in  coitus 
are  severely  condemned.  Hence,  if  the  woman  is  very  fruitful, 
the  husband  has  only  the  choice  between  complete  abstention 
from  coitus  (when  both  conjoints  are  in  agreement)  and  preg- 


342  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

nancies  following  without  interruption.  The  woman  never  has 
the  right  to  refuse  coitus  to  her  husband,  nor  the  latter  to  refuse 
it  to  his  wife,  so  long  as  he  is  capable  of  accomplishing  it. 

It  is  easy  to  understand  what  powerful  effects  such  precepts 
have  had  and  still  have  on  the  conjugal  life  of  the  Catholics, 
particularly  on  the  quantity  and  quality  of  their  descendants. 

Aural  Confession. — Confession  requires  special  mention.  In 
his  book,  ''Fifty  Years  in  the  Roman  Church"  (Jeheber,  Ge- 
neva), on  page  151,  Father  Chiniqui,  the  celebrated  Canadian 
reformer,  who  later  on  became  a  Protestant,  and  for  many 
years  played  an  important  part  in  the  Canadian  Catholic  clergy, 
mentions  the  points  on  which  the  confessor  interrogates  the 
penitents  of  both  sexes.  One  cannot  reproach  him  with  being 
incompetent. 

No  doubt  the  Church  of  to-day  would  reply  that  the  con- 
fessor is  not  obUged  to  put  all  these  questions  and  that  the 
details  are  left  to  his  tact.  We  will  agree  that  there  is  a  differ- 
ence between  the  Canada  of  the  last  centmy,  a  new  and  primi- 
tive country,  and  the  Europe  of  the  present  day.  But  I  main- 
tain: Fkst,  that  the  confessor  does  not  content  himself  with 
listening  to  what  the  penitents  of  both  sexes  tell  him,  but  that 
it  is  his  duty  to  interrogate  them;  secondly,  that  a  celibate 
Catholic  person,  extremely  serious  and  virtuous,  to  whom  I 
put  the  question  unawares,  informed  me  that  not  only  are  sex- 
ual matters  dealt  with  at  the  confessional,  but  that  they  play 
the  principal  role.  And,  as  it  is  a  question  of  warning  the  peni- 
tents against  so-called  sins,  mortal  or  not,  or  of  absolving  them, 
I  fail  to  see  how  the  priest  can  avoid  speaking  of  them,  when 
the  detailed  precepts  of  which  we  have  spoken  exist. 

I  reproduce  here  the  original  Latin  text.  It  deals  with  ques- 
tions which  have  been  treated  in  Chapter  VIII,  so  that  I  shall 
dispense  with  giving  a  translation. 

The  confessor  puts  the  following  questions  to  his  penitents: 

1.  Peccant  uxores,  quae  susceptum  viri  semen  ejiciunt,  vel 
ejicere  conantur  (Dens,  vol.  VII,  p.  147). 

2.  Peccant  confuges  mortaliter,  si,  copula  incepta,  prohibeant 
seminationem. 

3.  Si  vir  jam  semin^verit,   dubiuni  fit   an  femina  lethaliter 


RELIGION   AND   SEXUAL   LIFE  343 

peccat,  si  se  retrahat  a  seminando;   aut  peccat  lethaliter  vir  non 
expedando  smiinationem  uxoris  (p.  153). 

4.  Peccant  confuges  inter  se  circa  actum  conjugalem.  Debet 
servari  modus,  sive  situs;  uno  ut  non  servetur  debitum  vas,  sed 
copula  haheatur  in  vase  praepostero,  aliquoque  non  naturali. 
Si  fiat  accedendo  a  postero,  a  latere,  stando,  sedendo,  vet  si  vir  sit 
succumbus  (p.  166). 

5.  Impotentia.  Est  incapacitas  perficiendi  copmlam  carnalem 
perfectatn  cum  seminatione  viri  in  vase  se  debito,  seu,  de  se,  aptam 
generationi.  Vel,  ut  si  mulier  sit  nimis  arcta  respectu  unius  non 
respectu  alterius  (p.  273). 

6.  Notatur  quod  pollutio,  in  mulieribus  possit  perfici,  ita  ut 
semen  earum  non  effluat  extra  membru7n  genitale.  Indicium  istius 
allegat  Billuart,  si  scilicet  midier  sensiat  seminis  resohdionem  cum 
magno  voluptatis  sensu,  qua  completa,  passio  satiatur  (vol.  IV, 
p.  168). 

7.  Uxor  se  accusans,  in  confessione,  quod  negaverit  debitum, 
interrogatur  an  ex  pleno  rigore  juris  sui  id  petiverit  (vol.  VII, 
p.  168). 

8.  Confessarius  poenitentem,  qui  confitetur  se  peccasse  cum 
sacerdote,  vel  solicitatem  ab  eo  ad  turpia,  potest  interrogare  utrum 
ille  sacerdos  sit  ejus  confessarius,  an  in  confessione  sollicitaverit 
(vol.  VI,  p.  297). 

In  volumes  V  and  VII  of  Dens  may  be  found  many  such 
precepts,  impossible  to  reproduce,  on  which  the  pious  casuist 
desires  his  penitents  to  be  examined. 

Let  us  now  pass  on  to  the  celebrated  Liguori.  Among  nu- 
merous other  obscene  questions  of  a  refined  erotic  nature, 
every  confessor  is  bound  to  put  the  two  following  to  his  penitents : 

1.  Quaerat  an  sit  semper  mortale,  si  vir  immitat  pudenda  in 
OS  uxoris    .     .    .     f 

Verius  affirmo,  quia  in  hoc  actu,  ob  calorem  oris,  adest  proxi- 
mum  periculum  pollutionis,  et  videtur  nova  species  luxuriae  con- 
tra naturam,  dicta  irruminatio. 

2.  Eodem  modo,  Sanchez  damnat  virum  de  mortali  qui,  in  actu 
copulae,  immite  ret  digitum  in  vas  praeposterum  uxoris;  quia,  ut 
ait,  in  hoc  actu,  adest  affectus  ad-Sodomiam  (Liguori,  t.  VI,  p. 
935). 


344  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

Let  us  now  leave  the  celebrated  Liguori  and  pass  on  to  Burch- 
ard,  the  bishop  of  Worms.  He  has  written  a  book  on  the  ques- 
tions which  the  priest  should  put  at  the  confessional.  Although 
this  book  no  longer  exists  it  has  been  for  ages  the  guide  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  priests  at  the  confessional.  Dens,  Liguori, 
Debreyne,  etc.,  have  taken  from  it  their  most  savory  passages, 
to  recommend  them  as  a  study  for  our  present  confessors.  We 
will  give  a  few  examples: 

(a)  To  young  men: 

1.  Fecisti  solus  tecum  fornicationem  ut  quidam  facer e  solent; 
ita  dico  ut  ipse  tuum  membrum  virile  in  manumUuam  acciperes, 
el  sic  duceres  praeputium  tuum,  et  vmnu  propria  commoveres,  ut 
sic  per  illam  delectationem  semen  projiceres? 

2.  Fornicationem  fecisti  cum  musculo  intra  coxas;  ita  dico  ut 
tuum  virile  memhrum  intra  coxas  alterius  mitteres,  et  sic  agitando 
semen  f  under es? 

3.  Fecisti  fornicationem,  ut  quidam  facere  solent,  ut  tuum  virile 
membrum  in  lignum  perforatum  aut  in  aliquod  hujus  modi  mitteres 
et  sic  per  illam  commotionem  et  delectationem  semen  projiceres  f 

4.  Fecisti  fornicationem  contra  naturam,  id  est,  cum  masculis 
vel  animalihus  coire,  id  est,  cum  equo,  aim  vacca  vel  asina,  vel 
aliquo  animalif  (vol.  I,  p.  136). 

(6)  To  young  girls  or  women  (same  collection,  p.  115) : 

1.  Fecisti  quod  quaedam  mulieres  solent,  quoddam  molimen, 
aut  machinamentum  in  modum  virilis  membri  ad  mensuram  tuae 
voluptatis,  et  illud  loco  verendorum  tuorum  aut  alterius  cum 
aliquibus  ligaturis  ut  fornicationem  faceres  cum  aliis  mulieribus, 
vel  alio  eodem  instrumento,  sive  alio  tecum  f 

2.  Fecisti  quod  quaedam  mulieres  facere  solent,  ut  jam  supra 
dicto  molimine  vel  alio  aliquo  machinamento,  tu  ipsa  in  te  solam 
faceres  fornicationem  f 

3.  Fecisti  quod  quaedam  mulieres  facere  solent,  quando  libidinem 
se  vexantem  extinguere  volunt,  quae  se  conjugunt  quasi  coire 
debeant  et  possint,  et  conjungunt  invicem  puerperio  sua,  et  si 
fricando  pruritum  illarum  extinguere  desiderantf 

4.  Fecisti  quod  quaedam  mulieres  facere  solent,  ut  cum  flio  tuo 
parvulo  fornicationem  faceres,  ita  dico  ut  filium  tuum  supra 
turpidinem  tuam  poneres  ut  sic  imitaberis  fornicationem? 


RELIGION  AND   SEXUAL  LIFE  345 

5.  Fecisti  quod  quaedam  muUeres  facer e  solent,  ut  succimiberes 
aliquo  jumento  et  illud  jumentum  ad  coitum  qualicumque  posses 
ingenio  ut  sic  coiret  tecum? 

The  celebrated  Debreyne  has  written  a  whole  book  on  the 
same  subject  for  the  instruction  of  young  confessors,  and  in  it 
he  has  enumerated  all  kinds  of  debauchery  and  sexual  per- 
version which  he  could  imagine,  "Maechiology,"  or  Treatise  on 
all  the  Sins  against  the  Sixth  (seventh  in  the  Decalogue)  and  the 
Ninth  (tenth)  Commandments,  as  well  as  on  all  questions  of 
married  life  connected  with  them. 

This  book  is  very  celebrated  and  is  widely  studied  in  the 
Roman  Church.  We  only  quote  from  it  the  two  following 
questions : 

To  men: 

Ad  cognoscendum  an  usque  ad  pollutionem  se  tetigerint,  quando 
tempore  et  quo  fine  se  tetigerint;  an  tunc  quoddam  motus  in  corpore 
experti  fuerint,  et  per  quantum  temporis  spatium,;  an  cessantihus 
tactihus  nihil  insolitum  et  turpe  acciderit;  ad  non  longe  majorem 
in  corpore  voluptatem  perciperint  in  fine  inactum  quam  in  eorum 
principio;  an  turn  in  fine  quando  magnam  delectationem  carnalem 
senserunt,  omnes  motus  corporis  cessaverint;  an  non  malefacti 
fuerint  f  etc.,  etc. 

To  girls: 

Quae  sese  tetigisse  fatentur,  an  non  aliquem  pruritum,  extinguere 
tentaverit,  et  utrum  pruritus  ille  cessaverit  cum  magnam  senserint 
voluptatem;  an  tunc  ipsimet  tactus  cessaverint? 

Among  a  thousand  other  analogous  precepts  the  reverend 
Kenrick,  bishop  of  Boston,  in  the  United  States,  gives  the  fol- 
lowing to  his  confessors: 

Uxor  quae,  in  usu  matrimonii,  se  vertit,  ut  non  recipiat  semen, 
vel  statim  post  illud  acceptum  surgit,  ut  expellatur,  lethaliter  peccat; 
sed  opus  non  est  ut  diu  resuspina  jaceat,  quwn  matrix,  hrevi  semen 
attrahat,  et  mox,  arctissime  claudatur. 

Puellae  patienti  licet  se  vertere  et  conari  ut  non  recipiat  semen, 
quod  injuria  et  emittitur;  sed,  acceptum  non  licet  expellere,  quia 
jam  possessionem  pacificam  habet  et  hand  absque  injuria  naturae 
ejiceretur. 

Conjuges  senes  plerumque  coeunt  absque  ctdpa,  licet  contingat 


346  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

semen  extra  vas  effundi;  id  enim  per  accidens  fit  ex  infirmitati 
naturae. 

Quod  si  vires  adeo  sint  fradae  ut  nulla  sit  seminandi  intra  vas 
spes,  jam  nequ£unt  jure  conjugi  uti  (vol.  Ill,  p.  317). 

Such  is  the  teaching  of  Chiniqui,  the  man  whose  courage  and 
powerful  individuality  succeeded  in  introducing  abstinence 
from  alcohol  in  Canada.  His  long  life  was  that  of  a  pioneer 
and  an  inflexible  champion  of  social  and  moral  reform  in  that 
country,  based  on  Christianity.     He  died  at  the  age  of  ninety. 

I  have  quoted  the  erotic  precepts  of  the  confessional  from 
him,  as  I  was  anxious  to  quote  from  an  absolutely  rehable  source. 
It  was  not  with  a  light  heart  that  Chiniqui  abandoned  the  Cath- 
olic Church,  but  only  after  violent  and  bitter  struggles  with 
conscience,  struggles  of  which  he  relates  the  tragic  episodes,  and 
which  lasted  for  many  years. 

He  commences  the  chapter  from  which  we  have  quoted  with 
the  following  words:  "Let  legislators,  fathers  and  husbands 
read  this  chapter  and  ask  themselves  the  question  whether  the 
respect  which  they  owe  to  their  mothers,  their  wives  and  their 
daughters  does  not  impose  upon  them  the  duty  of  forbidding 
auricular  confession.  How  is  it  possible  for  a  young  girl  to 
remain  pure  in  mind  after  such  conversations  with  an  unmar- 
ried man?  Is  she  not  more  prepared  for  the  depths  of  vice 
than  for  conjugal  life?"  The  author  of  these  hnes  is  a  man 
who  was  obliged  for  many  years  to  be  a  confessor  himself,  and 
who  understood  to  what  extent  confession  corrupted  the  sexual 
life  of  women  and  priests.  It  is  true  that  persons,  priests  or 
women,  of  strong  character,  and  especially  those  with  a  cold 
nature  from  the  sexual  point  of  view,  may  resist  such  sexual 
excitation.  But  has  confession  been  specially  instituted  for 
this  type  of  character?  Every  one  who  is  not  a  hypocrite  will 
own  that  it  is  exactly  the  contrary. 

Religious  Prudery. — The  results  of  such  a  combination  of 
sexual  life  with  religious  prescriptions  are  a  mixture  of  ridiculous 
prudery  and  continual  eroticism.  In  certain  convents  (those  of 
the  nuns  of  Galicia,  for  example)  the  nuns  forbid  their  pupils  to 
wash  the  sexual  organs,  because  it  is  improper!  In  Austria  the 
nuns  often  cover  the  crucifix  in  their  bedroom  with  a  handker- 


RELIGION   AND   SEXUAL   LIFE  347 

chief,  "so  that  Christ  cannot  see  their  nakedness"!  But  the 
convents  of  nuns,  in  the  Middle  Ages,  were  often  transformed 
into  brothels;  and  it  is  not  uncommon  to  see  hypocrites  or 
the  subjects  of  erotic  hysteria  (both  men  and  women)  perform 
sexual  orgies  of  the  worst  kind  under  the  cloak  of  religious 
ecstasy. 

Hottentots.  Eunuchs. — Among  the  Hottentots,  the  hps  of 
the  vulva  (labia  minora)  in  women  are  artificially  elongated, 
and  among  the  Orientals  eunuchs  are  made.  In  themselves 
these  two  operations  have  certainly  nothing  to  do  with  religion 
and  only  originated  in  profane  customs.  In  the  course  of  time 
they  were  made  religious  precepts,  which  has  deeply  rooted 
them  in  the  customs  of  the  people. 

Religious  Eroticism. — The  examples  which  we  have  cited  show 
to  what  extent  man  is  disposed  to  clothe  his  eroticism 
with  the  cloak  of  religion.  He  then  attributes  a  divine 
origin  to  his  desires  and  lays  the  precepts  which  he  attaches  to 
them  on  the  commandments  of  his  God  or  gods,  so  as  to  sanctify 
them.  Hence,  the  unnatural  influence  of  a  mysticism,  which 
is  nothing  else  than  the  crystallized  product  of  the  fantastic 
imagination  of  men,  raised  to  a  dogma,  imposes  itself  indirectly 
on  natural  sexual  life,  by  entering  at  the  back  door  under  the 
cloak  of  religion.  It  is  obvious  that  grave  abuses  or  even  vices 
often  acquire  the  seal  and  power  of  religious  precepts;  while  in 
the  same  domain  a  number  of  other  customs  or  precepts  are 
based  on  good  hygienic  or  moral  principles,  for  example,  cir- 
cumcision and  conjugal  fidelity. 

It  is  perhaps  in  the  domain  of  pathology  that  the  relations  of 
religion  to  sexual  life  are  the  most  striking  (see  Chapter  VIII). 
We  must  not  forget  that  the  facts  of  reproduction  seem  to  ig- 
norant people  and  especially  to  barbarians,  to  be  of  a  very 
mysterious  nature.  These  people  have  no  idea  of  germinal 
cells  or  their  conjugation.  They  see  in  conception,  embry- 
ogeny,  pregnancy  and  birth,  the  miraculous  effects  of  a  divine 
and  occult  higher  power — of  the  divinity,  often  even  of  the 
devil. 

The  violent  excitement  which  is  associated  with  the  sexual 
appetite  and  with  love  urges  man  to  ecstasy;  hence  it  is  not  to 


348  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

be  wondered  at  that  eroticism  is  so  often  complicated  by  ecstatic 
religious  sentiments. 

In  his  book  on  Psychopathia  sexualis,  Krafft-Ebing  remarks 
how  easily  religion,  poetry  and  eroticism  are  combined  and 
mingled  in  the  obscm'e  feelings  and  presentiments  of  maturing 
youth.  In  the  life  of  saints  there  is  always  the  question  of 
sexual  temptations,  in  which  the  most  elevated  and  ideal  sen- 
timents are  mixed  with  the  most  repugnant  erotic  images.  On 
the  same  basis  are  developed  the  sexual  orgies  of  different  reli- 
gious fetes  in  the  ancient  world,  as  well  as  in  certain  modern 
sects. 

Mysticism,  religious  ecstasy  and  sexual  voluptuousness  are 
often  combined  in  a  real  trinity,  and  one  often  sees  unsatisfied 
sensuality  seek  compensation  in  religious  exaltation.  Krafft- 
Ebing  cites  the  following  cases  from  Friedreich's  "Legal  Psy- 
chology" (p.  389): 

In  this  way  the  nun  Blaubekin  was  perpetually  tormented  by 
the  thought  of  what  happened  to  the  part  of  Jesus'  body  removed 
by  circumcision. 

In  order  to  make  his  devotions  to  the  lamb  of  God,  Veronique 
Juliani,  who  was  canonized  by  Pope  Pius  II,  took  into  his  cham- 
ber a  terrestrial  lamb,  embraced  it  and  sucked  its  breasts. 

Saint  Catherine  of  Genes  often  suffered  from  such  internal  heat, 
that,  to  cool  herself,  she  laid  on  the  ground,  crying:  "Love,  love, 
I  can  do  no  more!"  In  doing  this  she  felt  a  peculiar  inclination 
for  her  confessor.  One  day,  putting  his  hand  to  her  nose,  she 
perceived  an  odor  which  penetrated  her  heart,  "a  celestial  odor 
the  voluptuousness  of  which  could  wake  the  dead." 

The  Role  of  Mental  Pathology  in  Religious  Eroticism. — Among 
the  insane,  and  especially  in  women,  but  also  in  men  afflicted 
with  paranoia  (a  mental  disease)  we  often  find  a  strange  and 
repugnant  mixture  of  eroticism  and  religious  images.  Such  are 
the  everlasting  betrothals  with  Christ,  the  Virgin  Mary,  with 
God  or  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  betrothals  in  which  the  venereal 
orgasm  is  combined  with  imaginary  coitus  and  masturbation, 
followed  by  imaginary  pregnancy  and  childbirth.  These  symp- 
toms give  us  a  clear  indication  of  the  relation  which  exists  be- 
tween eroticism  and  rehgious  exaltation.    The  French  alienists 


RELIGION   AND   SEXUAL   LIFE  349 

have  even  designated  them  by  the  characteristic  term  of  "ero- 
tico-rehgious  dehrium."  A  single  visit  to  the  female  division 
of  a  lunatic  asylum  is  often  sufficient  to  satisfy  the  visitor. 

A  point  which  has  received  less  attention  is  the  immense  his- 
torical influence  which  certain  psychopathological  personalities, 
chiefly  hysterical  subjects,  but  also  some  crazy  persons  or 
hereditary  visionaries,  have  exercised  at  all  times  on  human 
destiny,  usually  by  the  aid  of  the  suggestive  effects  of  sexual 
and  religious  ideas  (erotico-religious),  the  connections  of  which 
have  not  always  been  clear. 

Every  psychiatrist  knows  the  insane  whose  delirium  is  com- 
bined with  religious  or  mystic  exaltation,  and  who  by  the  mys- 
ticism of  their  delirium  have  exercised  and  continue  to  exercise 
a  profound  influence  on  the  mass  of  humanity  which  surround 
them — "Panurge's  Sheep,"  if  I  may  use  the  expression.  These 
people  are  themselves  so  dominated  by  the  pathological  influ- 
ence of  their  auto-suggestions  or  their  delirium  that  they  be- 
have with  the  fanaticism  of  fakirs,  and  exhibit  an  extraordinary 
energy  and  perseverance  in  the  pursuit  of  the  object  of  their 
morbid  ideas.  By  their  assurance,  the  sentiment  of  infallibility, 
and  the  fire  of  faith  which  is  manifested  in  their  prophetical 
manner,  they  fascinate  the  feeble  brains  of  the  people  who  sur- 
round them  and  attract  them  by  their  suggestive  action. 

A  very  human  and  often  powerful  eroticism  is  usually  asso- 
ciated with  their  delirium;  but  it  is  covered  by  a  cloak  of  reli- 
gious ecstasy,  which  imposes  on  natures  disposed  to  exaltation, 
and  renders  them  blind  to  the  ignominy  which  often  lies  under 
this  ecstasy. 

What  makes  these  patients  so  persuasive  is  the  fact  that  they 
are  themselves  persuaded.  Even  the  normal  man,  we  must 
admit,  is  guided  less  by  reason  than  by  sentiment,  and  the  per- 
sons we  have  just  described  exert  a  powerful  action  on  senti- 
ment, and  this  more  by  their  piercing  glance,  their  prophetic 
and  dominating  tone,  their  manner  and  appearance,  than  by 
the  extremely  confused  text  of  their  discourses  and  doctrines. 

In  this  way  there  are  always  arising  small  epidemics  of  at- 
traction in  which  a  group  of  individuals  aflows  itself  to  be  infatu- 
ated by  so-called  prophets,  messiahs,  holy  virgins  and  other 


350  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

visionaries,  who  are  only  lunatics  or  crazy  persons.  Under  their 
influence  are  produced  certain  forms  of  insanity  by  contagion, 
which  have  been  called  double,  triple  or  quadruple  madness, 
and  which  may  sometimes  take  the  form  of  an  epidemic. 

When  the  "prophet"  is  more  consistent  in  his  words  andi 
actions,  or  when  his  environment  is  still  very  ignorant  and  super- ' 
stitious,  the  crowd  of  believers  increases  still  more  rapidly,  and 
thus  one  sees  even  at  the  present  day  in  less-civilized  countries 
new  sects  or  religious  guilds,  more  or  less  ephemeral,  in  which 
the  spirit  of  the  prophet  sometimes  stirs  up  grave  sexual  orgies. 

Among  more  cultured  people  the  prophet  is.generally  exposed 
or  sent  to  a  lunatic  asylum,  much  to  the  indignation  of  his  disci- 
ples, who  often  consist  of  his  wife  and  children  and  a  few  feeble- 
minded acquaintances. 

Thanks  to  the  cheapness  of  printing,  these  prophets  often  pu!> 
lish  their  new  religious  system  and  sell  it  among  their  dupes. 
I  possess  a  small  library  of  works  of  this  kind  which  have  been 
sent  me  by  their  authors;  probably  with  the  idea  that  they 
might  one  day  be  taken  for  fools,  and  to  prove  to  me  in  advance 
that  they  were  not. 

According  to  them,  God  has  personally  revealed  to  them  the 
new  truth  in  which  they  believe,  and  has  appointed  them  as 
prophets.  Erotic  images  are  generally  associated  with  their 
system.  One  of  them,  whose  system  is  astronomical,  divides  the 
planets  into  males  and  females.  Another,  a  lunatic,  describes 
the  pathological  sexual  sensations  by  the  term  of  "psycho-sexual 
contact  by  action  at  a  distance."  These  are  phenomena  which 
we  meet  with  at  each  step  in  psychiatry,  and  which  give  the 
clue  to  what  follows. 

The  Historical  Role  of  Mental  Anomalies  which  are  Not  Very 
Apparent  and  Border  on  Genius.  Their  Influence  on  Religious 
Eroticism. — These  persons  are  not  always  afflicted  with  para- 
noia or  other  grave  psychoses,  but  often  hereditary  and  consti- 
tutional psychopaths  who  are  only  half-crazy  or  simply  hys- 
terical, and  who  may,  in  spite  of  this  defect,  possess  a  certain 
degree  of  intellectual  power,  an  energetic  will  and  the  fire  of 
enthusiasm.  Things  then  take  an  essentiafly  different  course, 
even  when  they  rest  on  an  analogous  basis. 


I  RELIGION  AND   SEXUAL  LIFE  351 

The  prophet  combines  with  his  exaltation  a  logic  which  is 
often  very  concise  in  its  details,  although  applied  on  a  morbid 
basis.  Moreover,  he  clothes  his  utterances  in  fine  and  poetical 
language,  and  in  this  way  succeeds  in  rallying  round  him,  not  a 
flock  of  Panurge's  ignorant  sheep,  but  more  elevated  people  and 
even  a  considerable  proportion  of  the  surrounding  society.  In 
this  case  pathological  exaltation  may  be  united  to  a  high  moral 
and  intellectual  ideal,  which  is  very  apt  to  veil  the  bizarre  fan- 
cies of  the  prophet.  We  thus  meet  with  the  astonishing  but 
undeniable  fact  that  certain  great  historical  personalities  who 
have  exercised  a  powerful  influence  on  humanity  were  of  more 
or  less  pathological  nature.  We  discover  among  them  erotico- 
rehgious  traits,  more  or  less  marked,  often  even  as  the  leading 
threads  of  their  arguments. 

This  important  category  of  individuals  constitutes  a  whole 
series  of  transitions  between  the  insane  prophets  of  whom  we 
have  spoken  and  well-balanced  men  of  genius.  It  is  often  very 
difficult  to  understand  and  interpret  the  series  of  intermediate 
forms,  so  graduating  and  so  variable,  which  exist  between 
insanity  and  genius.  It  is  necessary  to  guard  against  any 
exclusive  generalization  in  one  way  or  the  other. 

In  any  case,  the  fact  that  many  men  of  genius  are  of  patho- 
logical nature  does  not  authorize  us  to  regard  every  person  of 
genius  or  originality  as  insane,  whether  he  attacks  the  routine 
and  prejudices  of  his  contemporaries,  or  whether  he  opens  up 
new  horizons  and  goes  out  of  the  beaten  track.  Let  me  cite  a 
few  examples. 

Joan  of  Arc  was,  in  my  opinion,  a  hysterical  genius  whose 
hallucinations  w^ere  auto-suggestive.  The  distress  of  France 
had  profoundly  agitated  her,  and,  fired  with  the  desire  to  save 
her  country,  her  brain  was  affected  by  auto-suggestion  with 
hallucinations  of  the  voices  of  saints  and  visions,  which  pointed 
out  her  mission  and  which  she  regarded  as  coming  from  real 
saints  in  heaven.  At  that  period  such  things  were  common 
enough  and  need  not  surprise  us.  In  spite  of  her  good  sense 
and  modesty,  Joan  of  Arc  was  urged  by  an  exaltation  uncon- 
scious of  self.  By  a  destiny  as  astonishing  as  providential,  this 
young  girl  of  genius,  and  at  the  same  time  pathological,  exalted 


352  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION  j 

by  ecstatic  hallucinations,  led  France  to  a  victorious  war  of ' 
freedom.  The  most  conscientious  historical  sources  show  that 
the  morality  of  Joan  of  Arc  was  pure  and  above  reproach.  Her 
replies  to  the  invidious  questions  of  the  Inquisition  are  admirable 
and  bear  witness  both  to  her  high  intelligence  and  the  moral 
elevation  of  her  sentiments.  It  is  evident  that  the  sentiments 
of  love  were  transformed  in  her  into  religious  ecstasy  and  enthu- 
siasm for  the  ideal  of  her  mission,  a  frequent  occurrence  among 
women. 

Another  remarkable  example  is  that  of  Thomas  a  Becket.  The 
sudden  transformation  of  this  man  of  the  world  into  an  ascetic 
priest  (it  is  true,  on  the  occasion  of  his  nomination  as  arch- 
bishop), from  this  devoted  friend  and  servitor  of  the  king  of 
England  into  his  most  violent  adversary,  and  into  a  champion 
of  the  Church  against  the  State,  evidently  represents  the  auto- 
suggestive  transformation  of  a  hysterical  subject,  for  this  is 
the  only  way  of  explaining  such  a  sudden  and  complete  contra- 
diction which  caused  him  to  change  suddenly  from  one  fanaticism 
to  a  contrary  one. 

The  religious  exaltation  of  the  Mormon  prophet.  Smith,  was 
no  doubt  combined  with  eroticism,  which  made  him  organize 
his  sect  on  the  basis  of  polygamy. 

Mahomet  also  had  visions,  and  sexual  connection  plays  an  im- 
portant part  in  his  teaching  and  prophesies.  The  apostle  St. 
Paul  was  also  a  visionary  who  passed  suddenly  from  one  extreme 
to  another  as  the  result  of  hallucination.  Pascal,  Napoleon, 
and  Rousseau  presented  very  marked  pathological  traits. 

Although  some  of  these  cases  have  no  direct  connection  with 
the  sexual  question,  I  have  mentioned  them  to  show  how  such 
personalities  exert  their  influence  on  the  masses,  and  through 
them  on  history.  As  soon  as  they  acquire  authority,  their 
peculiar  ideas  and  sexual  conceptions,  however  exclusive  or  even 
absurd  they  may  be,  react  strongly  on  their  contemporaries,  as 
we  see  to-day  the  ascetic  ideas  of  Tolstoi  influence  his  numerous 
disciples. 

Sudden  conversions,  whatever  may  be  their  nature,  especially 
when  the  convert  goes  from  one  extreme  to  another,  are  not  the 
fruit  of  reason,  but  depend  on  suggestion  or  auto-suggestion 


RELIGION  AND   SEXUAL   LIFE  353 

and  especially  on  pathological  suggestibility.  (Vide  Chapter 
IX). 

In  other  respects  sexual  anomahes  often  govern  the  acts  of 
hysterical  persons  and  other  psychopaths.  The  Roman  em- 
perors, Nero,  Tiberius  and  Caligula  were  almost  certainly 
sadists  and  enjoyed  sexual  pleasure  at  the  sight  of  the  sufferings 
of  their  victims.  Valerie,  Messalina  and  Catherine  de  Medici 
were  also  female  sadists.  Under  the  hypocritical  veil  of  reli- 
gion, Catherine  de  Medici  was  the  principal  instigator  of  the 
Massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew  at  Paris,  and  wallowed  in  pleasure 
at  the  sight  of  the  massacre  of  the  Huguenots. 

On  the  other  hand,  masochism  may  give  tone  to  the  thoughts 
and  sexual  feelings  of  certain  persons  of  great  influence,  such  as 
Rousseau,  and  to  sects  of  ascetics,  such  as  the  faku's,  etc. 

Involuntarily,  therefore,  the  sexual  feelings  of  every  prophet 
and  founder  of  religion,  even  during  a  short  period  of  his  life 
only,  influence  more  or  less  his  religious  system  and  consequently 
the  laws  of  morality  based  on  it,  which  remain  after  his  death. 

Hence  it  is  that  sentiments,  as  variable  in  different  individuals 
as  sexual  sentiments,  are  obliged  to  submit  to  the  constraint  of 
fixed  and  tyrannical  dogmas  which  martyrize  for  centuries,  or 
even  thousands  of  years,  men  who  have  other  opinions  than  the 
founder  of  the  religion  or  its  interpreters  who  succeed  him. 

In  religion  we  see  everywhere  idealized  eroticism,  and  often 
idealism  perfumed  with  eroticism.  The  Songs  of  Solomon, 
the  original  sense  of  which  was  very  lay,  like  that  of  most 
religious  matters,  has  been  made  allegorical  and  applied  to 
the  Christian  Church,  but  it  was  and  wiU  always  remain  an 
erotic  poem. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  add  that  natural  eroticism  very  often 
leads  the  severe  and  ascetic  preachers  of  morality  to  the  grossest 
hypocrisy.  Priests  and  other  pious  persons  often  preach  an 
idealized  asceticism,  while  in  secret  they  commit  the  most  dis- 
gusting sexual  excesses. 

We  must  not,  however,  judge  such  crying  inconsistencies  too 
severely;  they  are  to  a  great  extent  unconscious  and  are  the 
result  of  the  shock  of  passion  against  the  tyranny  of  dogma, 
prejudice,  and  public  opinion.    They  are  often  also  the  result 


354  THE   SEXUAL   QUESTION 

of  mental  anomalies.  When  science  is  allowed  to  enlighten 
sexual  life  freely  and  openly,  the  hypocrisy  of  normal  people 
will  cease,  and  that  of  the  abnormal  will  be  recognized  in  time 
and  prevented  from  doing  harm. 

Transformation  of  Eroticism  into  Religious  Sentiment. — In 
ordinary  life  we  find  everywhere  traces  of  the  mixtm-e  of  religion 
with  sexual  sensations  and  images.  The  religious  ceremonies 
of  marriage  among  all  peoples  constitute  a  significant  remnant 
thereof. 

When  we  look  for  the  causes  of  sudden  and  progressive  reli- 
gious exaltation  we  often  discover  that  it  is  nothing  else  than 
compensation  for  disappointed  love.  I  refer  here  to  true  and 
fervid  exaltation,  identified  with  the  whole  inner  consciousness, 
and  not  to  the  religion  of  habit  which  the  average  man  scarcely 
remembers  in  his  daily  life,  and  only  observes  on  Sunday  in  the 
form  of  a  conventional  promenade,  or  a  contribution  to  the 
church.  This  religion  of  habit  is  only  an  empty  form,  which 
awakes  no  sentiment,  and  consequently  is  associated  with  no 
sensation,  even  erotic,  in  its  followers. 

In  other  individuals  it  may  be  otherwise,  and  certainly  was 
so  formerly.  Everything  goes  to  prove  that  the  exalted  senti- 
ments of  sympathy  from  which  our  religion  is  to  a  great  extent 
derived,  such  as  the  holy  fervor,  the  devotional  ardor  and  the 
delights  of  ecstasy  which  it  has  so  often  procured  for  its  follow- 
ers and  still  procm'es  for  some  of  them,  whether  their  object  be 
God,  Allah,  Jehovah,  Jesus  Christ,  Buddha,  Vishnu,  the  Virgin 
Mary,  or  the  Saints,  that  these  sentiments  have  to  a  gi^eat 
extent  their  roots  in  primary  erotic  sensations  and  sentiments, 
or  represent  the  direct  transformation  of  them. 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  all  this  may  take  place  quite  uncon- 
sciously and  with  the  purest  intentions.  I  hasten  to  add  that 
the  majority  of  true  religious  sentiments  come  from  quite  a 
different  source. 

When  we  study  the  religious  sentiment  profoundly,  especially 
in  the  Christian  religion,  and  Catholicism  in  particular,  we  find 
at  each  step  its  astonishing  connection  with  eroticism.  We 
find  it  in  the  exalted  adoration  of  holy  women,  such  as  Mary 
Magdalene,  Marie  de  Bethany,  for  Jesus,  in  the  holy  legends. 


RELIGION   AND   SEXUAL   LIFE  355 

in  the  worship  of  the  Virgin  Mary  in  the  Middle  Ages,  and 
especially  in  art.  The  ecstatic  Madonnas  in  our  art  galleries 
cast  their  fervent  regards  on  Jesus  or  on  the  heavens.  The 
expression  in  Murillo's  ''Immaculate  Conception"  may  be 
interpreted  by  the  highest  voluptuous  exaltation  of  love  as  well 
as  by  holy  transfiguration.  The  "Saints"  of  Correggio  regard 
the  Holy  Virgin  with  an  amorous  ardor  which  may  be  celestial, 
but  appears  in  reality  extremely  terrestrial  and  human. 

Numerous  sects,  both  ancient  and  modern,  have  entered  on 
the  scene  in  a  hardly  less  libidinous  manner;  for  example,  the 
sexual  excesses  of  the  anabaptists  in  former  times  and  the 
sexual  ecstasies  of  certain  modern  sects  in  America. 

If  the  objection  is  raised  that  these  sects  are  the  pathological 
excrescences  of  religion,  I  reply  with  then-  disciples  as  fol- 
lows: "We  have  come  into  the  world  because  your  State  reli- 
gions are  sunk  in  indifference,  hypocrisy  and  hollow  formality, 
offering  nothing  to  the  human  heart  but  empty  plii-ases.  It 
behooves  us  to  awaken  from  this  sleep.  We  want  enthusiasm 
and  fervor  to  transform  the  inner  life  of  man  and  convert  him." 
These  words,  which  we  can  see  and  hear  everywhere  by  opening 
our  eyes  and  ears,  constitute  a  formal  avowal  of  the  suggestive 
factor  in  religion.     (See  Chapter  IX,) 

In  the  Canton  of  Zurich  I  have  myself  often  had  occasion  to 
observe,  especially  among  women,  the  followers  of  the  singular 
sect  of  the  Pastor  Zeller,  of  Maennedorf.  He  is  a  kind  of 
visionary  prophet  who  heals  people  after  the  manner  of  Christ 
and  John  the  Baptist,  by  placing  his  hands  on  them  and  anoint- 
ing them  with  oil.  The  cures  which  he  obtains  are  due  naturally 
to  suggestion,  like  those  of  Lourdes,  but  he  attributes  them  to 
divine  miracles.  He  even  told  me  naively  that  he  heard  a 
grinding  (crepitation)  in  a  broken  bone,  which  he  regarded  as  a 
miraculous  cure!  A  crowd  of  women,  mostly  hysterical,  col- 
lected around  this  man  with  an  ardor  which  was  unconsciously 
directed  much  more  to  his  person  than  to  that  of  God  or  Chi'ist 
whom  he  was  supposed  to  symbolize.  I  have  treated  patients 
who  had  been  to  him,  and  who  associated  with  his  person  both 
the  mildest  and  the  most  carnal  erotic  images— of  course,  in  the 
innocence  of  their  hearts. 


356  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 


It  is  far  from  me  to  reproach  this  sincere  man  and  many 
others  of  the  same  kind,  especially  the  priests  who  are  surrounded 
by  a  halo  of  sanctity  pushed  to  ecstasy.  I  only  maintain  that 
when  a  human  being  exalts  himself  in  the  search  for  pure- 
mindedness  and  sanctity,  thus  denying  his  true  nature,  he  is 
always  in  danger  of  falling  unconsciously  into  the  most  gross 
sensuality,  and  at  the  same  time  of  sanctifying  this  sensuality. 

Description  of  Religious  Eroticism  by  the  Poets. — The  Swiss 
poet,  Gottfried  Keller,  with  his  peculiar  genius  has  described 
religious  eroticism  in  an  admirable  way,  especially  in  his 
seven  legends.  Read,  for  example,  Dorothea' s^Blumenkorhchen 
(Dorothea's  little  flower-basket),  in  which  the  terrestial  lover  of 
Dorothea  ends  by  becoming  jealous  of  her  celestial  lover,  of 
whom  she  always  speaks  in  the  most  exalted  sentiments.  Wher- 
ever she  went  she  spoke  in  the  most  tender  terms  and  expressed 
the  most  ardent  desire  for  a  celestial  lover  that  she  had  found, 
who  waited  in  immortal  beauty  to  press  her  against  his  shining 
breast.  When  the  wicked  prefect  had  bound  Dorothea  on  the 
gridiron  under  which  was  placed  a  slow  fire,  this  hurt  her  deli- 
cate body,  and  she  uttered  smothered  cries.  Then  her  terrestrial 
lover,  Theophilus,  forcing  his  way  through  the  crowd,  burst  her 
bonds  and  said  with  a  sad  smile,  "Does  it  hurt  you,  Dorothea?" 
But  when  suddenly  freed  from  all  pain  she  immediately  replied : 
"How  could  it  hurt  me,  Theophilus?  I  lay  on  the  roses  of  the 
lover  I  adore !  This  is  my  wedding  day ! "  Keller  shows  us  here, 
along  with  eroticism,  the  suggestive  effect  of  ecstasy,  which 
among  martyrs,  may  reach  the  most  complete  anaesthesia. 

Goethe  has  also  described  erotico-religious  ecstasy;  for  ex- 
ample, at  the  end  of  the  second  part  of  Faust,  in  the  prayers 
addressed  by  certain  anchorites  to  the  queen  of  heaven. 

Distinction  Between  Religion  and  the  Ecstasy  Derived  from 
Eroticism. — It  would  be  quite  false  to  maintain  that  religion  in 
itself  arises  from  sexual  sensations.  The  terror  of  death  and 
the  enigmas  of  existence,  the  sentiments  of  human  weakness 
and  insufficiency  of  life,  the  want  of  consolation  for  all  miseries, 
the  hope  of  a  future  life,  all  play  an  important  part  in  the 
origin  of  religions.  On  the  other  hand,  it  is  necessary  to  recog- 
nize the  considerable  role  of  the  erotic  sexual  factor  in  rehgious 


EELIGION   AND   SEXUAL  LIFE  357 

sentiments  and  dogmas,  where  on  the  one  hand  it  leads  to 
ardent  fervor,  while  on  the  other  hand  it  tyrannizes,  especially 
by  the  exclusiveness  of  its  residues  transformed  into  dogmas, 
the  natural  expansion  of  the  erotic  sentiments  which  are  so 
variable  in  individuals. 

One  of  the  most  difficult  and  important  future  tasks  of  social 
science  toward  humanity  is,  therefore,  to  set  free  sexual  rela- 
tions from  the  t5a-anny  of  rehgious  dogmas,  by  placing  them  in 
harmony  with  the  true  and  purely  human  laws  of  natural 
ethics. 

Compensations. — In  the  animal  series  we  have  seen  that  sen- 
timents of  sympathy  are  derived,  in  a  general  way,  by  phylog- 
eny,  from  the  sentiments  of  sexual  attraction,  and  we  often 
see  in  man  a  sexual  love,  deceived,  despised  or  transfigured,  seek 
compensation  or  idealization  in  the  fervor  or  rehgious  exalta- 
tion. The  question  naturally  presents  itself  whether  this  com- 
pensation or  this  ideal  is  indispensable,  and  if  other  objects  of  a 
human  and  not  mystical  nature  cannot  take  its  place. 

There  are,  in  my  opinion,  purely  human  ideals,  which  are 
capable  of  transfiguring  erotic  love  "rehgiously"  quite  as  well 
as  the  mysticism  of  so-cahed  divine  revelations.  Christianity  is 
called  the  religion  of  love,  and  the  apostle  Paul  even  places 
charity  higher  than  faith.  But  what  is  charity  but  the  syn- 
thesis of  the  social  sentiments  of  sympathy,  devotion  and  self- 
denial,  for  the  benefit  of  humanity?  Cannot  it,  therefore,  be 
estabhshed  on  another  basis  than  that  of  cheques  to  be  drawn 
on  paradise?  Cannot  exaltation  and  fervor  apply  their  powerful 
faith,  the  beauty  of  their  form  and  the  elevation  of  their  senti- 
ments to  the  social  ideal  and  the  future  welfare  of  our  children? 
Cannot  we  replace  the  cult  of  religious  legends,  the  adoration  of 
the  works  of  Jehovah  and  Cliiist,  as  they  are  given  in  the  Bible, 
by  the  reUgion  of  our  descendants  and  their  welfare? 

In  my  opinion,  the  suggestion  of  religious  ecstasy  and  love 
might  well  be  directed  toward  the  benefit  of  society.  Its 
fanaticism  is  admirably  adapted  to  shake  the  indifference  and 
indolence  of  men;  but  this  source  of  energy  should  not  be  wasted 
in  the  adoration  of  legendaiy  mirages,  but  used  for  the  efficacious 
culture  of  a  true  human  religion  of  love  on  earth. 


CHAPTER   XIII 

RIGHTS   IN   SEXUAL    LIFE — GENERALITIES 

Rights  and  Liberty. — Human  ideas  of  right  are  very  curious. 
Every  one  appeals  to  right  and  Uberty,  and  naturally  thinks  of 
himself  first,  without  perceiving  that  in  continually  claiming  his 
proper  rights,  he  tramples  under  foot  those  of  others.  How 
beautiful  are  these  words  Rights  and  Liberty!  But  in  everyday 
life  in  what  an  uncompromising  way  they  oppose  each  other! 
To  give  satisfaction  to  my  rights  and  liberty,  the  right  of  com- 
plete development,  according  to  my  natm'al  sentiments,  is  a 
thing  which  is  perfectly  impossible;  or,  is  only  practicable  by 
constantly  infringing  the  right  and  Uberty  of  my  fellow  beings. 

Nevertheless  people  keep  harping  on  this  theme;  with  the 
exalted  tone  of  intimate  conviction  they  inveigh  against  our 
social  organization,  cursing  the  malice  of  others,  but  show  them- 
selves perfectly  incapable  of  resolving  the  contradictions  which 
gave  rise  to  their  thirst  for  Uberty  and  justice. 

The  cry  of  despair  addressed  to  right  and  Uberty  by  modern 
society  is  nothing  else  than  the  expression  of  the  instinctive  sen- 
timent of  anger  and  revolt  produced  by  the  natural  evolution  of 
our  phylogeny.  The  savage  instincts,  stiU  considerable  in  the 
hereditary  foundation  of  human  nature  (the  mneme),  revolt 
against  the  straight- jacket  placed  on  them  by  social  Ufe,  and 
against  the  want  of  Uberty  on  the  earth,  which  is  already  too 
small  for  humanity. 

The  natural  man  is  eager  for  expansion  and  liberty,  and 
accustoms  himself  "^ith  difUculty  to  the  severe  restrictions 
which  social  necessities  impose  upon  him.  His  nature  is  still 
that  of  a  semi-nomadic  animal,  living  as  an  autocrat  with  his 
family,  possessed  of  a  number  of  egoistic  wants,  and,  wherever 
he  goes,  opposing  the  rights,  liberties  and  desires  of  other  men, 
who  generaUy  compel  him  to  subordinate  his  desires  to  theirs. 

358 


RIGHTS   IN   SEXUAL  LIFE  359 

This  is  the  true  reason  of  this  impotent  cry  of  vexation  and 
anger  against  the  mahce  of  others  and  the  defectiveness  of  social 
organization.  And  yet  this  cry  is  absolutely  necessary,  in  order 
that  we  may  find  and  put  in  practice  a  social  formula  as  tolerable 
as  possible  for  the  future.  But,  if  we  except  the  question  of 
capital  and  labor,  there  is  no  domain  in  which  social  hindrance 
is  so  cruelly  felt  as  in  the  sexual. 

What  is  human  right?  Apart  from  formally  admitted  dis- 
tinctions we  shall  divide  what  is  called  right  from  the  psycho- 
logical and  human  point  of  view  into  two  categories  of  ideas; 
natural  rights  and  conventional  rights. 

Natural  Rights.  Right  of  the  Stronger. — Natural  right  is 
quite  a  relative  idea:  the  right  to  life  and  its  conditions.  But, 
as  in  this  world,  which  is  said  to  be  created  by  a  personal  and 
perfect  God,  things  are  so  amicably  arranged  that  living  crea- 
tures can  only  exist  by  devouring  one  another,  the  oldest  effec- 
tive natural  right  of  every  living  being  is  precisely  that  of  de- 
vouring others  weaker  than  itself.  This  is  the  right  of  the 
stronger.  Therefore,  the  absolute  natural  right  is  the  right  of 
the  stronger. 

Rights  of  Groups.  Ants. — These  notions  become  altered, 
however,  if  we  regard  them  from  the  point  of  view  of  relative 
natural  right.  This  does  not  concern  all  living  beings,  but  only 
certain  groups.  The  rights  of  groups  are  relative  from  a  double 
point  of  view.  On  the  one  hand  they  give  the  group  of  individuals 
concerned  the  right  of  interfering  with  the  right  to  life  of  other 
groups,  even  to  extinction.  On  the  other  hand — and  this  is  the 
better  aspect  of  the  rights  of  groups — they  are  completed  by  what 
are  called  the  duties  of  each  individual  toward  others  of  the  same 
gi-oup,  that  is  to  say,  the  obUgation  to  have  regard  for  and  even 
protect  then-  rights  equally  as  his  own.  The  rights  of  a  group 
include  the  social  rights  and  duties  in  the  limits  of  that  group. 

It  is  among  animals,  especially  the  ants,  that  we  find  the  most 
ideal  organization  of  the  rights  of  a  group.  Each  individual  of 
the  ant  colony  acts  in  the  interests  of  the  community,  which  are 
the  same  as  its  own.  It  has  the  right  to  be  nourished  and 
housed  and  to  satisfy  all  its  immediate  wants,  but  at  the  same 
time  it  is  its  duty  to  labor  unceasingly  in  building  and  repahing 


360  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

the  common  dwelling,  to  nom-ish  its  fellows,  to  aid  in  the  repro- 
duction and  bringing-up  of  the  brood,  to  defend  the  community 
and  even  to  take  the  offensive  against  every  living  being  who 
does  not  belong  to  the  community,  in  order  to  increase  its 
resources. 

The  rights  and  duties  have  here  become  completely  instinctive 
by  adaptation,  that  is  to  say,  they  are  performed  without  com- 
mands or  instruction.  They  result  spontaneously  from  the  nat- 
ural organization  of  ants  without  the  least  external  obligation 
intervening.  Here,  the  cry  of  distress  of  the  ferocious  human 
beast,  of  whom  we  have  just  spoken,  is  completely  absent,  for 
duty  is  replaced  by  instinct  or  by  appetite,  and  its  accomplish- 
ment is  accompanied  by  a  natural  sentiment  of  pleasure.  Every 
ant  could  be  idle  without  being  punished  by  its  comrades,  if  it 
were  capable  of  wishing  to  be  so,  but  this  is  impossible.  Com- 
munities of  ants  can  only  exist  on  the  basis  of  the  social  instinct 
of  labor  and  mutual  support,  without  which  they  would  imme- 
diately disappear. 

Egoism  and  the  Rights  of  Groups  in  Man.  Hviman  Rights. — 
The  notions  of  the  rights  of  groups  in  man  are  infinitely  more 
compUcated  and  more  difficult  to  understand.  As  we  have 
already  seen,  the  most  primordial  instinctive  sentiment  in  man 
is  limited  to  his  family  and  his  iimnediate  surroundings.  But 
here  even  it  leaves  much  to  be  desired.  Family  disputes, 
quarrels  between  brothers  and  sisters  are  frequent  enough; 
parricide,  fratricide  and  infanticide  are  not  rare.  In  addition  to 
this,  beyond  the  narrow  circle  of  the  family,  disputes,  hatred 
between  individuals,  deception,  robbery  and  many  worse  things 
are  always  the  order  of  the  day.  In  struggles  between  parties 
and  classes,  in  the  abuse  of  privileges  of  caste  and  fortune,  in 
war,  in  commerce,  in  a  word  in  everything,  private  interests  of 
egoism  take  precedence  of  the  general  interests  of  humanity. 

These  facts,  and  a  thousand  other  pitiable  phenomena  of  the 
same  kind  in  human  society,  bear  witness  to  the  egoistic  and 
rapacious  nature  of  man,  which  proves  how  fit  tie  the  social 
instinct  is  developed  in  his  brain.  Human  society  is  founded 
much  more  on  custom  and  tradition,  imposed  by  the  force  of 
circumstances,  than  on  nature.     Human  infants  resemble  kit- 


RIGHTS  IN  SEXUAL  LIFE  '  361 

tens  at  first  much  more  than  young  social  beings.  In  primitive 
times,  when  the  earth  appeared  large  to  man,  the  rights  of 
groups  were  limited  to  small  communities  which  looked  upon 
other  men,  the  same  as  animals  and  plants,  as  legitimate  prey. 
Cannibalism  and  even  the  chase  show  clearly  that  man  began  by 
becoming  more  rapacious  and  more  carnivorous  than  his  pithe- 
canthropoid  ancestor,  and  his  cousin  the  ape  of  the  present  day. 

It  is  only  later,  after  the  progressive  enlargement  of  stronger 
communities  at  the  expense  of  weaker;  still  later,  when  man 
commenced  to  comprehend  the  sufferings  for  the  community 
which  result  from  the  autocracy  and  passion  for  unlimited 
pleasure  of  a  few  persons;  finally,  when  he  discovered  the  nar- 
row limits  of  the  earth,  that  notions  of  humanity  and  humanita- 
rianism,  that  is  to  say  the  sentiment  of  human  solidarity,  were 
able  to  develop  in  the  general  conscience.  It  was,  however,  one 
of  the  ancients  who  said  "I  am  a  man  and  nothing  human  can 
be  strange  to  me."  But  in  his  time,  as  in  that  of  Jesus  Christ, 
civilization  was  already  far  advanced  and  influenced  by  the 
wide  humanitarian  ideas,  more  ancient  still,  of  the  Assyrians 
and  the  Buddhists. 

Every  one  who  reflects  will  understand  that  the  relativity  of 
the  rights  of  groups  in  man  and  that  of  the  duties  which  corre- 
spond to  them,  must  in  time  expand  and  be  applied,  httle  by 
little,  to  all  the  human  inhabitants  of  the  earth.  What  is  more 
difficult  is  the  definition  of  what  should  be  understood  under  the 
term  of  humanity,  capable  of  being  socialized  and  cultivated. 

No  doubt,  the  gap  which  exists  between  the  lowest  Uving 
human  race  and  the  highest  ape  is  considerable  and  without 
direct  transition.  However,  we  gradually  begin  to  recognize, 
on  the  one  hand,  that  we  have  certain  duties  toward  animals,  at 
least  toward  those  which  serve  us,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  we 
know  that  certain  of  the  lower  human  races,  such  as  the  pigmies, 
the  Veddas  and  even  the  Negroes,  are  inaccessible  to  a  higher 
civilization,  and  especially  incapable  by  themselves  of  main- 
taining what  a  number  of  their  individuals  learn  by  training 
when  they  live,  among  us.  We  shall,  therefore,  have  to  choose 
finally  between  the  gradual  extinction  of  these  races  or  that  of 
our  own. 


362  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

It  is  not  my  business  to  deal  with  this  question  here,  to  trace 
the  limits  of  civilizable  humanity,  or  to  examine  the  rights  and 
duties  of  civiUzed  men  to  each  other  relatively  to  the  rest  of  the 
living  world;  or,  in  other  words,  to  what  extent  civilized  man 
should  have  the  relative  right  of  subjecting  other  living  beings, 
exploiting  them  in  his  own  interests,  nourishing  them,  or  eventu- 
ally exterminating  them  for  the  safety  of  his  own  existence. 

As  regards  the  animal  and  vegetable  kingdoms,  from  the 
amoeba  to  the  orang-utan,  the  question  is  simple  enough  and 
settled.  It  is  much  more  difficult  to  decide  for  men  and  for 
peoples  separated  from  us  by  great  racial  differences.  I  must 
emphasize  the  profoundness  of  this  difference.  It  is  evident 
that  the  higher  cultivated  races,  or  rather  blends  of  races,  which 
live  to-day  will  do  better  to  live  in  peace  than  to  mutually  exter- 
minate each  other. 

It  is  necessary  to  discuss  these  questions  at  the  risk  of  hurting 
the  feelings  of  sentimental  persons.  But  what  is  the  use  of  being 
blind  to  such  patent  facts?  It  is  not  too  soon  to  look  closely 
into  the  future,  and  it  is  only  thus  that  we  can  arrive  at  any 
useful  result.  The  natural  rights  of  man  should  evolve  more  and 
more  from  a  complex  of  social  rights  and  duties  toward  a  single 
great  gi'oup,  which  we  may  call  civilized  humanity,  the  relative 
limits  of  which  can  only  be  traced  by  repeated  trials  and  by 
practical  experience.  The  instincts  of  the  wild  beast  are  still 
so  deeply  rooted,  even  in  civilized  men,  that  they  can  only  be 
adapted  gradually  and  even  painfully  to  a  natural  right  thus 
understood  and  limited.  We  must  honestly  admit  that  such  a 
right  only  merits  very  relatively  the  denomination  of  natural 
rights.  In  fact,  social  rights  are  necessarily  artificial  in  man. 
A  few  elementary  rights  and  duties  only  are  quite  natural, 
especially  in  the  sexual  domain.  We  are  concerned  here  with 
adaptations  in  the  form  of  instincts  which  serve  for  the  support 
and  development  of  the  family,  as  well  as  for  the  protection  of 
the  individual.  Among  these  we  may  mention  the  right  to  fife, 
the  duty  of  labor  and  the  right  to  labor,  the  right  of  the  infant 
to  be  nourished  by  its  mother  and  to  be  cared  for  and  protected 
by  its  parents,  the  duty  of  parents  to  nourish  their  children, 
the  duty  of  the  husband  to  protect  his  wife,  the  right  to  obtain 


RIGHTS  IN  SEXUAL  LIFE  363 

nourishment  from  the  animal  and  vegetable  kingdoms,  the  right 
to  satisfy  the  sexual  appetite,  etc. 

There  exists,  however,  a  series  of  other  rights  and  duties, 
which  are  so  necessary  that  they  maybe  termed  natural.  Such 
are  the  right  to  possess  a  dwelling  place;  to  defend  one's  life 
against  attack;  to  think  and  beUeve  what  one  wishes  so  long 
as  one  does  not  impose  one's  ideas  and  faith  on  others;  the  duty 
to  respect  the  life  and  property  of  one's  neighbor;  the  duty  to 
give  a  healthy  and  sufficient  education  to  youth,  both  in  body 
and  mind,  etc. 

If  we  regard  the  matter  without  prejudice,  certain  rights  and 
duties  which  have  been  hitherto  considered  as  natural  and  self- 
evident,  become  very  doubtful.  Such  are  ecclesiastical  and 
religious  rights  and  duties,  patriotic  and  national  duties,  the 
rights  and  duties  of  war,  the  rights  of  privileged  classes,  the  rights 
of  property,  etc.  It  is  clear,  from  an  unprejudiced  examination 
of  the  development  of  humanity,  that  these  so-called  rights  and 
duties  are  only  the  historic  legacies  of  mysticism  or  of  Hmited 
human  groupings,  and  in  great  part  artificial.  The  rights  and 
duties  of  members  of  the  groups  in  question  consisted  in  mutu- 
ally protecting  their  opinions  and  their  national  and  reHgious 
interests,  etc.,  and  in  subjecting  or  even  trampling  under  foot 
those  of  other  human  groups.  These  lead  us  quite  naturally 
to  the  second  category  of  general  notions  of  rights. 

Conventional  Rights. — To  speak  correctly,  conventional  rights 
are  not  rights.  They  are  simply  a  dogmatic  sanction  applied 
to  all  kinds  of  customs  and  abuses  that  men  have  appropriated,  • 
according  to  local  chcumstances  and  their  fortuitous  con- 
quests or  acquisitions.  Here,  the  consequences  of  the  natural 
rights  of  the  stronger,  religious  mysticisms  and  all  sorts  of  hu- 
man passions,  the  sexual  appetite  especially,  play  a  very  varied 
and  complex  role. 

The  absurdity  and  injustice  of  conventional  rights  is  shown 
by  the  difference,  often  even  the  absolute  contrast,  of  the  cor- 
responding conception  of  rights  among  different  peoples.  In 
one,  polygamy  is  a  right  and  even  a  divine  institution;  in  an- 
other, it  is  a  crime.  Individual  murder  is  generally  considered 
as  criminal,  but  in  warfare  the  slaughter  of  masses  becomes  a 


364  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION  1 

duty  and  even  a  \drtue.  Theft  and  rapine  are  regarded  in  times  i 
of  peace  as  crimes,  but  in  time  of  war,  under  the  form  of  annexa-  j 
tion  and  plunder  they  are  the  uncontested  rights  of  the  victor,  j 
In  a  kingdom,  the  monarch  is  looked  upon  as  a  holy  person  and  i 
offense  to  his  majesty  as  a  crime;  in  a  democracy,  it  is  individual  j 
domination  which  is  regarded  as  criminal.  j 

Falsehood  and  mental  restriction  are,  in  certain  cases  at  least, 
the  rights  or  even  the  duty  of  the  Catholic,  who  is  only  forbidden 
to  swear  falsely  in  the  name  of  God  and  religion,  while  others 
consider  all  falsehood  more  or  less  unjustifiable;  others  again 
regard  every  oath  as  sinful. 

The  contradictions,  inconsistencies,  urmatural  prescripts  and 
tyrannies  of  what  is  called  conventional  rights  in  different 
peoples  are  innumerable,  and  the  notions  of  our  rights  which  we 
have  inherited  from  the  Romans  are  not  much  better. 

Retaliation. — In  historical  epochs,  we  see  the  rights  of  the 
stronger  succeeded  by  certain  notions  of  rights  which  may  still 
be  considered  as  primordial;  such  is  the  law  of  retaliation  or 
lynch  law,  based  on  the  natural  sentunent  of  vengeance,  which 
is  itself  derived  from  anger,  jealousy  and  pride,  and  says  "An 
eye  for  an  eye  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth."  The  law  of  retaliation 
is  very  natural  and  very  human.  Although  of  savage  origin,  it 
has  at  least  the  merit  of  recognizing  in  men  an  equal  right  in 
retaliation  for  injury  caused  in  a  brutal  fashion,  without  con- 
sidering inner  motives. 

Expiation. — We  also  find  in  the  old  law  another  notion  de- 
rived partly  from  the  preceding,  but  chiefly  from  religious  mys- 
ticism— the  notion  of  expiation.  After  constructing  in  his  own 
image  a  divinity  blinded  by  hmnan  passions,  man  attributed  to 
him,  from  fear  of  vengeance,  sentiments  of  anger  and  indigna- 
tion regarding  his  baseness  and  malice  toward  his  neighbor. 
He  then  conciliated  the  divinity  and  appeased  his  wrath  by 
making  sacrifices,  human  or  otherwise. 

At  first,  sacrifices  were  not  made  of  criminals  or  guilty  per- 
sons, but  of  innocent  lambs,  men  or  beasts,  sometimes  with  all 
kinds  of  torture,  to  appease  the  supposed  wrath  of  the  gods. 
Gradually,  however,  these  customs  became  more  humane  and 
were  changed  to  the  notions  of  expiation  which  we  still  have. 


RIGHTS  IN  SEXUAL  LIFE  365 

Whosoever  has  committed  a  crime  should  expiate  it  by  some 
kind  of  pain,  eventually  by  death.  In  our  modern  penal  law, 
notions  of  expiation  and  retaliation  are  blended,  and  when  we 
study  its  roots  in  ethnology  we  are  not  surprised  to  see  the  expia- 
tion and  punishment  of  so-called  crimes  against  God  or  religion. 
We  find  in  this  fact  a  singular  mixture  of  rehgious  and  judicial 
notions.  A  curious  way  of  appeasing  the  divinity  is  the  sacrifice 
of  animals  and  other  offerings  which  ancient  and  savage  peoples 
made  and  still  make,  in  returning  thanks  for  victory  or  some 
other  good  fortune,  or  to  appease  supposed  wrath. 

Themis. — In  spite  of  all  these  errors,  ancient  civilization  rep- 
resented as  the  ideal  of  right  a  goddess  of  justice,  Themis,  with 
eyes  blindfolded  and  holding  scales  in  her  hands.  The  scales 
.signified  that  right  and  wrong  should  be  carefully  weighed 
'against  each  other;  the  bandage,  that  the  judge  should  pro- 
nounce his  verdict  without  regard  to  persons,  and  be  inaccessible 
to  all  outside  influence.  For  the  limited  ideas  of  that  period, 
Uttle  removed  from  retaliation  and  expiation,  this  blind  woman 
with  her  scales  was  a  sufficient  representation  of  justice.  She 
had  no  need  to  trouble  about  the  psychology  of  human  nature, 
mental  disorders,  diminished  responsibility  or  ideal  social 
improvement. 

Themis  Unblindfolded.  Fallacy  of  Free-will. — Nowadays  the 
task  of  our  goddess  is  not  so  simple,  for  the  progress  of  humanity 
and  science,  especially  of  psychology  and  psychiatry,  oblige  her 
whether  she  wishes  or  not,  to  completely  remove  her  bandage, 
so  as  to  see  clearly  into  the  human  brain. 

It  is  not  simply  a  question  of  knowing  whether  an  accused 
person  has  or  has  not  committed  the  act  which  he  is  accused  of, 
but  also  whether  he  knew  what  he  was  doing,  what  were  the 
motives  which  urged  him,  and  who  is  the  real  instigator  of  the 
misdeed.  Alcohol,  mental  anomalies  and  diseases,  suggestions, 
passions,  etc.,  concur  in  influencing  the  human  brain  so  that 
it  is  hardly  responsible  for  its  acts. 

Again,  on  further  examination,  we  find  that  the  accepted  and 
historical  notion  of  free-will,  that  is  to  say  the  absolute  liberty 
of  man's  will,  which  constitutes  the  very  existence  of  our  old 
penal  law,  becomes  not  only  more  problematical,  but  may  even 


366  THE  SEXUAL  QUESTION 

be  considered  as  a  purely  human  illusion,  resting  on  the  fact 
that  the  indirect  and  remote  motives  of  our  actions  are  mainly 
subconscious. 

The  gi"eat  philosopher,  Spinoza,  has  already  demonstrated 
this  truth  in  a  masterly  manner,  and  modern  science  confirms  it 
in  all  respects.  Every  effect  has  its  cause,  and  all  our  resolu- 
tions are  the  result  of  the  activities  of  our  brain,  in  their  turn! 
determined  or  influenced  by  hereditary  engrams  (instincts  and: 
dispositions)  or  acquired  (memories),  which  are  their  internal 
causes,  and  combine  with  causes  acting  from  without.  Let  us 
admit  freely  the  fallacy  of  the  old  axiom  of  human  free-will  and 
endeavor  to  understand  that  what  we  consider  as  free  will  is 
nothing  else  than  the  very  variable  faculty  of  our  brain,  more 
or  less  developed  in  different  individuals,  of  adapting  its  activity 
to  that  of  its  environment,  and  especially  to  that  of  other  men. 
Also  let  us  endeavor  to  take  into  account  that  our  will'  and  all 
our  actions  are,  consciously  or  unconsciously,  determined  by  a 
complex  of  energies  or  hereditary  engrams  (character),  com- 
bined with  those  which  have  acted  upon  us  from  without 
during  our  life,  as  well  as  with  emotional  or  intellectual  sensory 
impressions. 

Our  whole  conception  of  rights,  and  especially  of  penal  law, 
should  then  change.  We  should  entirely  do  away  with  retalia- 
tion, a  barbarous  relic  of  a  more  or  less  animal  sentiment  of  our 
ancestors,  and  expiation,  the  relic  of  a  superannuated  and 
superstitious  mysticism.  Modern  and  truly  scientific  reformers 
of  penal  law  have  already  taken  account  of  this  necessity. 
But,  in  spite  of  the  complete  inefficacy  of  the  old  penal  sys- 
tem as  regards  the  diminution  of  crime,  they  have  so  far  only 
put  into  practice  few  of  their  ideas. 

Justification  of  Rights  and  Laws. — After  what  we  have  just 
said,  there  only  remain  two  reasons  to  justify  the  existence  of 
rights  and  laws: 

(1).  To  protect  human  society  against  criminals,  and  in  gen- 
eral to  institute  ideas  and  laws  with  a  view  to  regulate  the 
mutual  interests  of  men,  in  such  a  way  as  to  result  in  natural 
conditions  of  existence  as  advantageous  as  possible,  both  for 
the  individual  and  for  society: 


RIGHTS  IN  SEXUAL   LIFE  367 

(2).  To  study  the  causes  of  crimes,  social  conflicts,  imperfec- 
tions and  inequalities,  so  as  to  obtain,  by  contending  against 
these  causes,  an  improvement  in  men  and  their  social  condition. 
It  is  true  that  what  we  demand  here  means  a  complete  transfor- 
mation of  the  notions  of